The extended interim terms of the chiefs of Romania’s main prosecutor’s offices are drawing to an end
Romania’s main prosecutor’s offices, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, have too long been headed by interim chiefs. This happens at a time when the administrative and legislative problems in the judiciary have piled up and threaten to disrupt the activity of the judicial system. But these provisional terms are about to come to an end. The new Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu announced on Tuesday the proposals for the new prosecutor’s office chiefs.
Gabriela Scutea is nominated for chief prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. According to Minister Predoiu, she had the most substantial professional record and the best performance of all candidates. She has proved to be knowledgeable, farsighted, strong and a good professional, and her plan for the organisation of the office was the best of those presented so far, covering both the administrative side and internal organisation of the Public Ministry, and the representation side, Predoiu emphasised. The length of investigations into economic and financial cases and the deadlock in the Directorate for Criminal Investigations within the Romanian Police are the main weaknesses identified by Gabriela Scutea.
Nominated for chief of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate is Crin Bologa, a prosecutor that the Justice Minister has described as a guarantor that the fight against corruption will be carried on vigorously, while also in full compliance with civil and judicial rights and guarantees. Crin Bologa must honour the legacy of the most successful of the former chiefs of prosecutor’s offices, Laura Codruta Kovesi, whose outstanding performance has secured her the European Public Prosecutor post, in spite of the sabotage of the Social Democratic Party in power at that time.
Last but not least, Catalin Predoiu announced that Giorgiana Hosu is the nomination for chief of the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, DIICOT. Predoiu highlighted that the work of DIICOT mainly consists in cross-border investigations and inter-institutional and international cooperation, and Giorgiana Hosu is in the best position to handle this aspect. She came up with a comprehensive organisation plan and a balanced performance, supported by all-encompassing knowledge of the problems and activities of DIICOT, Predoiu argued.
The Minister’s nominations require the advisory opinion of the Higher Council of Magistrates, and President Klaus Iohannis will sign the appointments. Like many other competent and honest prosecutors, the ones nominated for these top positions see the division investigating crimes in the judiciary, established by the Social Democratic Party while in power, as an offence to all magistrates, or, even worse, as an instrument to intimidate them. This is precisely why the Liberal Government is considering the option of dismantling this division.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)