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News 12 Jan 18

Romania Probes Anti-Graft Chief for Misconduct

Romania’s Judicial Inspectorate has launched an investigation into the country's anti-corruption chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, who is accused of misconduct. 

Ana Maria Luca
Laura Codruta Kovesi. Photo: Octav Ganea/Inquam Photos

Romania’s Judicial inspectorate on Friday said that it had launched an investigation against the chief prosecutor of the country's National Anti-Corruption Directorate, Laura Codruta Kovesi, on grounds of misconduct.

The Judicial Inspectorate, the body that oversees magistrates, said investigators had submitted a request to the Higher Magistrates’ Council to investigate Kovesi.

She is accused of violating several provisions of the statute of magistrates after allegedly using improper language in staff meetings.

She also allegedly urged prosecutors to start prosecuting high-profile cases involving ministers to gain media attention.

She also allegedly sent emails insulting prosecutors who did not prosecute a certain case and  assigned a case to a prosecutor who was unsuitable for such a case.

Kovesi has not responded to the accusations.

Under Kovesi’s mandate, anti-graft prosecutors have indicted hundreds of public officials in Romania, including mayors, former ministers and party leaders for corruption-related offences.

The campaign has drawn praise from European Union officials and foreign diplomats, especially in the light of Romania's poor image as a country riddled with corruption.

However, several politicians have been angered by her campaign and have accused her of abuse of office and of working with the intelligence services. None of the accusations was proven.

Most recently, a parliamentary commission investigating possible fraud in Romania’s 2009 presidential elections called her in repeatedly to testify – but she refused to do so.

Over the past year, Romania has been engulfed in turmoil, with protesters taking to the streets to accuse the ruling Social Democrat Party of pushing bills that they a deem threat to prosecutors’ independence. 

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