Romanian Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu on Thursday dodged responsibility for positions of the country's representatives in two European files - one related to a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case affecting a top local politician, and one related to Romania's candidate for the job of European chief prosecutor.
A key issue is that of the agent of the country at the ECHR. The former leader of the governing Social Democrats (PSD), Liviu Dragnea (who is now in prison following a sentence in a different corruption case), has challenged at the ECHR a suspended prison sentence he received for electoral fraud at national level years ago. Early this year, Romania's former agent to ECHR was replaced with a new one who, as HotNews.ro has revealed, changed the line of defense for the Romanian state so that Dragnea be favored in his case against Romania.
Asked about the situation on Thursday, Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu said the new agent, Viorel Mocanu, a state secretary within the Foreign Ministry, has not been empowered by the ministry in any case. Melescanu said he knew there was an "issue" and "talk" about the situation, but that he had no competence over judicial affairs.
Also today, Melescanu claimed he did not now how Romania's representative to Brussels, Ambassador Luminita Odobescu, voted in the case of former Romanian chief anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, who has qualified for the final round in the process of election for a new top European prosecutor.
Melescanu urged the media to ask the Justice Ministry on the issue. He thus suggested that directions for Romania's vote were drawn by former Justice minister Tudorel Toader, who has openly opposed Kovesi and had forced her out of her position as head of Romania's National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA). Toader was still in office when Romania pressed against Kovesi's advancement to the final rounds of procedures for the naming of a European chief prosecutor.