Justice minister Tudorel Toader presented a report yesterday on the activity of the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Agency (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, at the end of which he concluded that Kovesi had acted irresponsibly in the way she conducted some investigations and had been authoritarian with the rest of her team. As a result, he recommended that Kovesi be dismissed from her management role at the DNA.
The foreign press reacted promptly to this long-awaited conclusion, and most outlets were critical of Toader’s decision.
Politico notes that Toader “accused the prominent prosecutor of acting beyond her responsibilities,” but that President Klaus Iohannis is the one who has to approve the dismissal, “which is not expected to happen, given his support for Kovesi and the DNA’s work.” Politico adds that the European Commission has also praised the work of the DNA.
AFP wrote that the minister’s decision maximised the tension between the left-wing majority and the judiciary power, and noted that around 2,000 people went out to protest following the announcement, supporting Kovesi, who has become the symbol of the anti-corruption fight in Romania.
Reuters highlighted the fact that under Kovesi’s management, “conviction rates have risen sharply in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states, winning plaudits from EU authorities.”
The Washington Post also covered the minister’s announcement, writing that President Iohannis and General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar both expressed their support for Kovesi as a response to Toader’s report. WP adds that critics say Toader’s proposal “was meant to satisfy the demands of the left-wing ruling coalition”.