The US Embassy to Bucharest issued a statement on Friday related to a major scandal engulfing Romanian politics, sparked by a prosecutor general's decision to dismiss a key anti-graft prosecutor from office, a move seen by many observers as a political interference with the judiciary. The Embassy warns of the vital importance of the National Anti-Corruption Department in efforts to ensure the independence of the justice system and to fight corruption.

The US Embassy statement:

  • "As a NATO ally and close partner, the United States shares the Romanian government’s goal of ensuring the independence and professionalism of the justice system and fighting corruption. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate is a vitally important institution in these efforts.
  • "We express our admiration and appreciation for the excellent work done by Mr. Lucian Papici and Ms. Mariana Alexandru. The critical appointments of their replacements must be the result of correct procedures and consultation to ensure that the DNA continues to be led by the most competent, courageous prosecutors with strong records of fighting corruption. We urge cooperation and consultation on this issue among all parties involved: the Chief Prosecutor of DNA, the Prosecutor General, the Justice Minister, the CSM, and the Presidency."

It comes as Romania's Prosecutor General decided this week to dismiss from office a prosecutor, Lucian Papici, who's investigated allegations of abuse by a leading government official, Social Democratic deputy PM Liviu Dragnea, in last year's referendum to oust the current government's opponent, President Traian Basescu.