Inspectors of the Superior Council of Magistrates are launching extensive controls on the activity of prosecutors at the main anti-graft body in Romania, the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA), on Friday in response to a call made early last month by Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu, who controversially called for the revocation of a top DNA prosecutor.

Inspectors will analyze the performance of DNA prosecutors including management, ethical compliance and communication activities since January 1, 2006.

The checks come after minister Chiuariu urged magistrates to revoke prosecutor Doru Tulus, head of a key DNA section dealing with high-level graft cases, from office on May 8. Chiuariu alleged that the call was not an order, but a suggestion based on his finding that Tulus’ performance was lacking results.

But his move sparked a public outcry as it was seen by many as a means of governmental interference with the Justice system.

According to Romanian law, prosecutors can be revoked from top positions by the head of state at the proposal of the Justice minister and with the approval of the Supreme Council of Magistrates. The Council decides whether to approve such a proposal based on checks such as those launched today.