Investigators of Romania's National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) moved on the Supreme Council of Magistrates on Wednesday morning, targeting two prosecutors suspected of having negotiated with the country's prime minister the jobs of DNA chief prosecutor and Prosecutor General, according to judiciary sources quoted by Mediafax news agency. The DNA move comes the day when PM Victor Ponta leaves for Brussels where he is expected to explain his governing alliance's actions over the past two weeks to worried European officials.
Prosecutors George Balan and Marcel Sampetru were suspended following the opening of a criminal investigation against them, CSM head said.
According to DNA charges, the two used informative notes in order to obtain political support to be named DNA chief prosecutor and Prosecutor General respectively, but were also negotiating other top jobs in the Public Ministry.
Marcel Sanpetru is a CSM councilor, while George Balan is a member of the Council.
Romanian newspaper Romania libera quoted judiciary sources in its online edition on Wednesday saying that as part of the DNA investigation a phone conversation between George Balan and PM Victor Ponta was tapped with a warrant from the High Court of Justice.
The news comes as Victor Ponta leaves for Brussels to meet top EU officials in order to discuss a series of measures of the governing alliance last week, in which the Senate and House speakers as well as the Ombudsman were replaced and President Traian Basescu was suspended as part of an impeachment procedure.
- The actions of the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) received harsh criticism at international level. Starting earlier this week, PM Ponta and interim President Crin Antonescu - who as new Senate speaker took over as head of state until a referendum takes place to oust Basescu - were quick to show that a series of Constitutional Court rulings approved of last week's procedures and that the rule of law and democracy were not threatened in "normal state" Romania.