My Government / My Justice – Considerations on the naming of new top prosecutors
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday signed the decrees naming three new chief prosecutors. He did so by ignoring the fact that the main body supervising magistrates in the country, the Supreme Council of Magistrates, had rejected two of the three through non-binding decisions.
Iohannis signed the decrees naming Gabriela Scutea as new Prosecutor General; Giorgiana Hosu as new head of DIICOT, the main prosecutorial body dealing with organised crime in the country; and Crin Bologa as new head of the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA).
By ignoring the position of the CSM and approving Giorgiana Hosu as new head of DIICOT and Gabriela Scutea as new PG, Iohannis also ignores the recommendations of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism – the main tool of the European Commission to push for justice reform in Romania.
Iohannis thus sends a worrying signal within the system, by promoting as head of DIICOT a procesutor who fails to provide the slightest guarantee of independence, integrity and professionalism.
In a country with a truly independent Justice, chief prosecutors should be beyond doubt free of vulnerabilities or leverage.
By naming prosecutors clearly or possibly associated with command systems, the old politics protected itself by correcting an error of the past – when largely autonomous top prosecutors were in office, nobody was feeling safe.
Politicians, influential business people, media owners, nobody appears to want strong prosecutorial bodies which are out of control.
When it comes to the president, after winning a new term in office with 70% of the vote last fall, he showed he wanted as much power as possible. If he pursues it by legit and democratic means, it is the natural way.
But if he wants it by any means, if he wants „my Justice” and not only „my Government”, to control both power and the opposition, if he’s become a captive of the old system, then we return to the long line of presidents who lose their compass in the second term. Should we get there, Romanians would have to defend their democracy again.
Edited for English by Costin Ionescu
Read more about the new prosecutors and what’s at stake
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