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President Traian Basescu: In 2007, prosecutors fought the political class, not the crime

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 7 martie 2008, 16:03 English | Top News

President Traian Basescu participated on Friday to the official presentation of the Public Ministry activity report, discussing the difficulties Justice saw in 2007. "Last year may be considered as a very difficult year", said Basescu, who argued that prosecutors had rather to fight the political class, not the criminals. "There is still a mentality saying that a prosecutor must remain under one's control", said Basescu. The president encouraged the prosecutors to get over this kind of pressure, as well as the pressure coming from the media. An example invoked by Basescu in the question of media pressure was the fleeing of Omar Hayssam, convicted for the kidnapping of three journalists in Iraq and terrorism. "It was said that he left like a boss, when he left crawling between sheep. In judging the way Hayssam left, you will spend a lot of energy fighting the media, it is the second round of attacks against Justice", said Basescu.

Statements and advices from president Basescu:

- "There is an interest to make Justice less credible... Those who wanted to turn Hayssam into a parliamentarian have all the interest for his departure to remain unexplained".

- "Find a formula so that those called to be heard by anti-graft prosecutors would not have to see the press around them also".
- "Don't let all those who failed as lawyers become prosecutors"
- "Congratulations for not quitting in front of politicians, despite all the impediments"
- "In 2007, we had a minister who fought against the direction of the Prosecutor General".
- "An ordinance was issued, blocking all actions against high-level corruption"
- "Laws were issued, rendering useless the work in blocking the banking frauds".

Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi referred to the personnel crisis in the system: "There are still prosecutors with over 1,500 files in their hands. It is impossible to demand a just solution in such cases. The lack of solution in the files is not related to interests of third parties, but to the giant quantity of cases".

"1,500 files in a prosecutor's locker are not just a figure, but the reality of a system approaching its collapse", said Kovesi.  

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