President Iohannis signs decree removing chief anti-graft prosecutor from office

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Monday a decree removing Laura Codruta Kovesi as chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA).

"In enforcing Ruling 358/2018 of the Constitutional Court (CCR), the President of Romania, Mr Klaus Iohannis, today signed a decree removing Mrs Laura Codruta Kovesi from the office of chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate," presidential spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi told a news conference on Monday.

She added that under CCR's ruling, "the President of Romania is to issue a decree removing from office chief prosecutor of DNA Laura Codruta Kovesi."

President Iohannis has consistently stated that he respects the Constitution and the laws of the country and has always acted accordingly, Dobrovolschi said.

According to the spokesperson, Iohannis underscores that the fight against corruption must under no circumstances be abandoned or slowed down.

"Corruption affects the lives of every citizen and the development of Romania. Public money cannot be used for personal or group gains, while the misappropriation of public resources and stymieing the anti-corruption fight means the absence of hospitals, schools, highways, efficient public administration. Romania's President, Mr Klaus Iohannis, warns that regardless of the name of the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, this body will have to continue its work professionally at the highest level of performance," said Dobrovolschi.

She pointed out that President Klaus Iohannis considers that Romania cannot take steps back from the country's status where law rules and where the supremacy of the Constitution is respected.

"In Romania, the fight against corruption must not be diminished or blocked in any way; on the contrary, it must continue. None of the institutions involved in the fight against corruption should be subject to pressure or attempts to discredit them. President Klaus Iohannis underlines that Romania is and must be a country where the rule of law prevails. The rule of law as well as genuine democracy is manifested on a daily basis by the decisions and the choices of each citizen to respect above all the Constitution and the laws of this country. Any slippage away from this principle would in fact mean a blow to and a diminution of the rule of law," Dobrovolschi said.

She also quoted Iohannis as pointing out that the decisions of the CCR should be respected not only by the president, but also by the majority of politicians.

"In a country governed by the rule of law, the rulings of the CCR must all be respected, that is why constitutional judges have the huge responsibility to ensure that the Constitution's supremacy does not depart from its spirit, which is based on the historical traditions of the Romanian people and on the ideals of the December 1989 Revolution, but the decisions of the CCR must be respected and enforced not only by the President but also by the political majority, a majority that decides on legislative changes with a major impact on the rule of law," Dobrovolschi said. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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