Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader on Thursday evening announced he was launching the procedure for the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi, chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), the main body fighting corruption in Romania.

Tudorel Toader cere revocarea Laurei Codruta KovesiFoto: Captura Antena 3

As he presented a report highly critical of the DNA activity for the past year, Toader said he would send the document, accompanied by the request for Kovesi's dismissal, to the Superior Council of Magistrates and to President Klaus Iohannis.

The final decision on a possible dismissal of Kovesi as head of DNA belongs with Klaus Iohannis, after the magistrates council submits an opinion on the matter.

Toader is part of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) -led government supported by a parliamentary coalition which has launched a series of changes in the field of justice. The changes have been intensely criticised as an attempt to subdue the judiciary and stifle the fight against corruption in Romania, a fight spearheaded by Kovesi and DNA.

Tudorel Toader's criticism of Kovesi included accusations that:

  • she breached the Constitution by investigated an emergency ordinance
  • she was involved in continuous breaches of the Constitution by investigating government decisions
  • she proved excessively authoritative behaviour
  • she gave priority to corruption cases with high media impact
  • she challenged acts of the Constitutional Court
  • she attempted to obtain criminal sentences at any price
  • she supervised the DNA during a period of increased acquittals and higher spending
  • she opted for non-involvement in identifying abuses attributed to prosecutors
  • she proved a lack of reaction to checking professional activities and behaviour of prosecutors at a local branch of DNA, the subject of several controversies