Romania’s government has targeted another opponent. This time it’s the country’s former anti-corruption prosecutor.
A newly established office established to investigate magistrates of the court made anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi its first high-powered target. She allegedly abused office, took bribes and made false statements.
As reported by Bloomberg, the ruling party defended the judiciary overhaul saying the changes give Kovesi “enough guarantees that her rights will be respected during the probe”.
Kovesi will “have a fair trial in case the investigation will lead to that,” the party said in a statement, calling on politicians to refrain from comments on the case during the legal procedure.
However, President Klaus Iohannis, disagrees. He is opposed to the new office. On February 13, he urged the institution to abide by the law and swiftly clear the matter of Kovesi’s investigation.
“This special office must not, under any circumstance, be used as a political tool to investigate and intimidate magistrates and prosecutors,” Iohannis said in an e-mailed statement. “I’ve contested this office from the beginning, along with the European Commission, because there aren’t enough guarantees that it will stay independent from political factors.”
As reported by Bloomberg, Kovesi, who was the driving force behind the anti-graft campaign that has jailed many ruling party officials, denied wrongdoing and said the case was a retaliation to her front-running candidacy for the EU’s top prosecutor job and opening a lawsuit against the government at the European Court of Human Rights.
The probe “is revenge,” Kovesi said late on February 13. A top prosecutor at the office designed to prosecute magistrates defended the investigation against Kovesi and said the timing adheres to official procedure that doesn’t allow for “a double standard.”