Romanian Judges’ Forum Association and Initiative for Justice Association denounce the attempt to manipulate public opinion through the Romanian President’s Facebook post, Klaus Iohannis, dated 4 March 2021, asking the “Minister of Justice to explain publicly urgently how it was reached that the case concerning the events of 10 August 2018 was closed” and asks the “Minister of Justice to find the answer to the truth of the Interior,” and asked the Minister of Justice to find the “Ministry of Justice and the Minister of the Interior” to answer the case on August 10, 2018.
We remind the public that the file referred to by the Romanian President was closed in the summer of 2020, while the current Minister of Justice was only a victim in the case “10 August”, and the justice portfolio was owned by Mr Cătălin Predoiu, for whom the President had only words of appreciation.
Both Ms Giorgiana Hosu, former Chief Prosecutor of DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism), who was one of the case prosecutors in the file, as well as Ms Gabriela Scutea, the General Prosecutor of Romania, who could verify, as a hierarchically superior prosecutor, the criminal investigation papers, were appointed in the high-ranking positions by the Romanian President, at the proposal of the same Minister of Justice, Mr Cătălin Predoiu, despite the negative approval of the Superior Council of Magistracy, the Section for Prosecutors, described by the President of Romania as „superficial”, as well as the numerous public warnings of the professional associations of magistrates regarding the violation of the recommendations of the European Commission reports in the MCV and the opinions of the Venice Commission requesting the appointment and removal of the highest to be achieved through a transparent procedure and based on objective criteria (“robust and independent system for appointing high-ranking prosecutors”), in which the Superior Council of Magistracy should be given a much more important role.
On the occasion of the appointment of Ms Scutea and Hosu to high-ranking positions, the President told the press the following: “I was pleased that the selection organised by Minister Predoiu has revealed three candidates I consider very good and I was very pleased to nominate them.”
We specify that prosecutors carry out their activity based on the principles of legality and hierarchical control, with the authority of the Minister of Justice over prosecutors not interfering, according to the law, with the criminal investigation activity, and that the judiciary is done exclusively by the courts.
Therefore, the legal responsibility for the situation reached could lie only with the case prosecutors, DIICOT chief prosecutors or the hierarchical prosecutor superior to the chief prosecutor of DIICOT, respectively the Prosecutor General of Romania, insofar as the investigations of the Judicial Inspection will prove undeniable facts in this respect. Political responsibility for the proper functioning of the judiciary must be assumed by the political decision-makers responsible for the appointment to high-ranking positions to the prosecutor’s office during 2020, in the context of the impermissible delay of the necessary changes to the “laws of justice”.
As regards the solutions for finding out the truth and hold accountable for the events that are the subject of the “10 August” case, they are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the courts, notified on procedural paths, in compliance with legal provisions.
In the system of the European Convention on Human Rights, into which Romania is also integrated, Member States must carry out effective investigations, respectively investigations that, being organized promptly, efficiently and under public control, by independent authorities, can lead to the identification and prosecution of persons responsible for the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms (see Aksoy c. Turkey, the judgment of 18 December 1996, paragraph 98); Assenov and others c. Bulgaria, 28 October 1998, par. 102; Soering c. Great Britain, 7 July 1989, par. 88, Selmouni c. France, 28 July 1999).
Romanian Judges’ Forum Association
Initiative for Justice Association
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