INTERVIEW/Kovesi: We worry more about dramatic effects corruption has, not attacks from investigated persons

INTERVIEW/Kovesi: We worry more about dramatic effects corruption has, not attacks from investigated persons

Head prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, has stated, in an interview granted to AGERPRES, that prosecutors are worried more by the “dramatic effects” that corruption has, than by attacks coming from persons under investigation.

“If we speak of worries, we are worried more by the dramatic effects that corruption has and than by the attacks made by persons under investigation,” Kovesi said.

The DNA head stated that, there are currently over 7,600 criminal cases in investigation, all regarding high-level corruption.

“Today we have over 7,600 criminal cases we are working on. As per the competence provided by law, all these cases regard high-level corruption. I cannot give figures on how many are dignitaries or how many persons with important functions, because we keep statistics based on the crimes committed, and these refer to high-level corruption,” mentioned the DNA head prosecutor.

On the percentage of acquittals, Kovesi mentioned that it is at the same level as in past years, thus not worrisome.

AGERPRES: Does the current legislative framework allow for the DNA activities to take place in good conditions or do you believe certain modifications are necessary?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: For the moment, I can say, as can be noted from the daily activity, that there are no legislation problems to hinder activity. But, if we are referring to recent events, we can say yes, there is that problem with immunities, especially immunities that regard ministers or former ministers that are suspected for actions that are committed during their tenure and who have immunity for life. In such cases, our activity is blocked if through a vote in Parliament, for example, the criminal investigation procedures are not authorized. Yes, in such cases, justice is hindered by a political vote.

AGERPRES: How pressing is the legislative resolve regarding the immunity of MPs and members of Government and how do you see it resolved? Could it be a conflict between state institutions? Recently, you named the Oprea and Corlatean cases, in which you showed that the political vote blocked the investigation.

Laura Codruta Kovesi: Yes, they are recent cases, they are cases that have quite a lot of impact in society when these investigations were opened. There were cases in which the civil society, the citizens had points of view when these investigations were opened. Unfortunately, at this moment, the two investigations are blocked. If I were to refer to the case named colloquially ‘the Diaspora Vote case’, it is blocked at this moment because we did not receive approval on that request for criminal investigation of minister Corlatean.

AGERPRES: Can it be named a conflict between the Legislative and prosecutors?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: If there is a conflict between state powers, this is observed by the Constitutional Court. I cannot say. I am just saying that in both cases there was political will that stopped a judiciary investigation, which shouldn’t have happened.

AGERPRES: On the topic of regulating this problem you are facing — you spoke of life immunity for ministers and parliamentary immunity — have you had discussions with possible stakeholders in order to eliminate them?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: No. Over the years, I issued opinions to the Ministry of Justice or the Superior Council of Magistracy in which I expressed this position.

AGERPRES: You mentioned recently, referring to the resignation of Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), that DNA was never in conflict with SIE, nor with other institutions. On the other hand, you said that an intelligence service, when it comes into possession of information regarding corruption, it is obligated to notify that matter. Is there a DNA investigation in which SIE verifiably lacked to inform a criminal matter?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: No.

AGERPRES: Did the lack of notice from SIE lead to the delay in some investigations?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: It’s not related. The observation that I made regarding the legal obligation of intelligence services to notify us when they come into possession of information regarding corruption has no relation to the cases we are currently investigating. It was a general observation, made after a study that was published by an NGO and which issued evaluations for the collaboration of some institutions in their relation with the National Anticorruption Directorate. I was presenting statistics.

AGERPRES: Not even in cases like EADS?

Laura Codruta Kovesi: No. More…