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Romania nominates contested prosecutor to lead anti-corruption agency

Europe
15.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Bucharest (dpa) - Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader on Monday nominated Adina Florea as the new head of the anti-corruption authority DNA, which has been the focus of a long-standing political power struggle.

With the nomination, Toader ignored a recommendation by the body of the country‘s top judges, who evaluated the 52-year-old as unfit for the job.

She was the choice of the government, which is effectively run by Social Democrats (PSD) chief Liviu Dragnea, who is the arch-rival of President Klaus Iohannis, a loud critic of corruption in politics.

The nomination of the government‘s choice now falls to Iohannis.

If confirmed, Florea will replace Laura Kovesi, who was sacked as head of DNA in July.

Kovesi - who spearheaded hundreds of cases against corrupt officials, earning the respect from many Romanians as well as the European Union - was a thorn in the side of Dragnea.

The PSD chief is legally unable to become prime minister because of an election fraud conviction.

Florea, a state prosecutor in the Black Sea port of Constanta, had been Kovesi‘s critic, accusing her and the DNA of ignoring the rights of the accused.

The nomination appears to be a part of Dragnea‘s and PSD‘s drive to dampen the power of the DNA, alongside judicial reforms that drew nationwide protests and criticism from the EU and NATO.

Romania joined the EU alongside Bulgaria in 2007.

Both had been criticized by Brussels over the state of their judiciary and remain under an unprecedented monitoring mechanism.

 

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