Romanian President Traian Basescu refused on Monday to dismiss a key anti-graft prosecutor as Justice Minister Chiuariu had requested. Basescu said that Chiuariu was defending high corrupt officials and that he acts at the orders of his "masters" who sent him in the government.

Justice Minister Chiuariu requested the head of state to dismiss key anti-graft prosecutor Doru Tulus due to what he called deficiencies in the National Anti-Corruption Department. Chiuariu said that anti-graft prosecutors proved unable to maintain independence in their investigations.

Chiuariu has been at loggerheads with the Department since he was named in office in spring this year. The differences have led to an all-out war within the Romanian judiciary.

Reacting to Chiuariu's request, Basescu said today that "I most sincerely believe that the one who should go is Minister Chiuariu".