President Klaus Iohannis’ statements issued on Tuesday seem to have aimed to save the DNA and extinguish the fire started inside the DNA. On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea pushed the Justice Minister on Wednesday to say something about scandal, suggesting that the situation is bad. Justice Minister Toader will have to choose between two options. Will he save Kovesi again or will he call for her removal?
The Justice Minister has two or three months to make a decision. Will he temporize, as usual, a decision in order to see who of the two (Iohannis or Dragnea) runs in fact Romania or will he push the acceleration pedal? With his fine smell, Tudose is already looking to see who has the power and to avoid any firm positioning. In addition, his life has become more complicated after the relations between Tudose and Dragnea have cooled down. Who will Toader bet on? Until then, Kovesi remains in office.
It is hard to anticipate now what’s going to be ahead. In a normal country, top dismissals should take place the next day. But in Romania, in a country under the prowlers’ siege, that cannot happen. The one who makes a new proposal of chief prosecutor is, according to the law, the justice minister. What do you think the PSD and the ALDE will do if the DNA chief prosecutor is released overnight? What kind of prosecutor Dragnea and Tariceanu will try to impose? How is going to look the proposal they will submit to the Presidency? Klaus Iohannis will be able to reject one, two, three proposals, but not all of those who are to be made.
All people of good faith who want Kovesi gone refuse to see the outcome, which is, mainly, the imminent disaster. What’s next? Who performs the next move and what will result from it? Is that so hard to anticipate? That may not be well understood if it happens in a case of a resignation. Of course, there is the possibility that in the autumn, exasperated to wait for Tudorel Toader’s move, the PSD and ALDE majority would change, in the Parliament, the law on the appointment of chief prosecutors. They may remove the President from the circuit, as they have already done with the appointment of the chief of Interior Ministry’s intelligence service. Just because of this reason, the internal DNA crisis must be quickly closed.
On short term, President Iohannis saved Kovesi. But I do not think he can hold her in his arms on long term, if the scandal inside DNA gets bigger, if the waters inside the DNA do not calm down, and, more importantly, if the institution does not restart its engines. In that context, any foreign partner will no longer jump to defend an institution on the brink of implosion. The DNA chief received a vital breath of oxygen in a difficult time. However, the accusations launched by prosecutors Doru Tulus and Mihaela Moraru Iorga represent a full blow for her, and they raise question marks about the way Laura Codruta Kovesi runs the institution.
The two prosecutors will probably continue to publicly to support their case and it is not excluded for new tapings to appear from inside the DNA. But at the same time, none of the two prosecutors, Tulus and Moraru, seem to be motivated by their good intentions and by their willingness to save the DNA, as they publicly claim. Both of them seem to be pushed in the fight for very personal reasons. It remains to be seen if they have also acted under the influence of outside forces and who those forces are.
All this time, the DNA will be subject to a background audit by the Justice Ministry and by the Judicial Inspection. Until now, no prosecutor has joined Kovesi’s accusers, but some are likely to wait for the inspection in order to back their colleagues’ complaints against their boss. It is vital for the DNA, if it does not want to become an irrelevant institution the way the National Agency of Integrity has become, to rapidly return to major investigations, professionally and discreetly made, supported by solid evidence and charges. In short, to release well-documented cases in order to regain public confidence. The DNA does not have other chance. Otherwise, I do not see how Laura Codruta Kovesi could conduct her full mandate to the end. And here, I agree with those who say that eventually someone’s mandate is not important, but the future of a vital institution is important.