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JusMin Toader: Starting off procedures to dismiss AG, chief corruption prosecutor, inopportune

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said Wednesday that starting off procedures to dismiss from office the attorney general and the chief prosecutor with the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) is currently inopportune.

"Given the context, and after considering all constitutionality, legality and opportunity factors I have mentioned, (...) I believe that this is not an opportune time to start off the institutional mechanisms to dismiss from office the attorney general and the DNA chief prosecutor," Toader told a news conference.


 The monitoring done by the Minister of Justice of the activity of prosecutors with the Prosecutor Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) is a very good thing, said, on Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis. 

"I believe it to be a very good thing. If we read carefully the Constitution and the laws, the Public Ministry conducts its activity under the oversight of the Justice Minister. Which is a very good thing and I actually expect the Minister of Justice to support the Public Ministry, the Attorney General, the head prosecutor of the DNA, the head prosecutor of the DIICOT," said Iohannis in a press statement at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace. 

He added that such an initiative, announced on Wednesday by the Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, is actually in his job description. 

"If they work together, in what we call loyal cooperation, the Justice Ministry and the Public Ministry, things can only go better, different from the year's start, when they had diverging opinions regarding GEO no. 13," the head of state added. 

Iohannis emphasized that if Minister Toader wishes to monitor the activity of prosecutors, he has full rights to do so. 

"I am very pleased with the activity of the attorney general and the DNA prosecutor. The Public Ministry and the DNA are doing their job just fine", he mentioned. 

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader met in Brussels on Tuesday with European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, in which context they discussed, among others, the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) file development, the Justice Ministry (MJ) announces in a press release.

According to the cited source, during the meeting they approached relevant aspects to the CVM file development, the Romanian Minister making a presentation of the mandate priorities, aimed at fulfilling the technical agenda monitored within the mechanism.

"The Justice Ministry will prepare the evaluation missions which the European Commission will conduct in Romania in 2017, having as a priority ensuring the cooperation between institutions and achieving the objectives and technical recommendations, so that the report to be published at the end of 2017 be a positive one," the release points out.

During the same meeting, the Justice Minister reiterated the firm commitment of the Romanian Government of continuing the already registered progresses in the judiciary system and in the activity of preventing and combating corruption, meant to bring forth the completion of the monitoring.

"First Vice-President Timmermans appreciated the major progresses achieved by Romania in the areas of justice reform and corruption combat, voicing expectations that these progresses continue. The European Commission backs Romania's efforts, as partner," the MJ release points out.

Moreover, the MJ shows, the two dignitaries agreed to continue the good cooperation between the European Commission and Romania aimed at reaching the objectives of fulfilling the recommendations and then, the successful completion of the Mechanism.

"Another aspect approached regarded the improvement of the conditions in the Romanian penitentiaries, the Justice Minister underscoring the need of some complementary solutions, applied in the proper share, both on the legislative corridor and on that of infrastructure," MJ also shows.

At the same time, the release maintains that First Vice-President Frans Timmermans reiterated the availability of the European Commission of providing financial aid for the rehabilitation of the detention spaces.

The continuation of the dialogue between the two dignitaries will materialise in the visit that Frans Timmermans will pay to Romania on 20 April 2017.

According to MJ, also attending the meeting was Paraskevi Michou, Acting Director-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, in charge with the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).