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Direcția Națională Anticorupție

MINISTERUL PUBLIC

PARCHETUL

DE PE LÂNGĂ

ÎNALTA CURTE DE CASAȚIE ȘI JUSTIȚIE

 
IMPARȚIALITATE·INTEGRITATE·EFICIENȚĂ

Mr. President of Romania
Honored Members of the Panel
Esteemed Guests
Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the presentation of the Activity Report of the National Anticorruption Directorate for 2015.
Today’s meeting is attended by prosecutors, police officers, specialists and clerks from DNA, as well as guests from various institutions with which we collaborate.
Last year, our analysis presented the highest figures since the setting up of the institution. This year, our results are much higher.
We indicted over 1,250 defendants for high and medium level corruption crimes.
Five times more ministers and members of the Parliament were sent to trial compared to 2013: 1 Prime Minister, 5 ministers, 16 Deputies and 5 Senators. It is the highest number of public officials investigated by DNA in a year.
We ordered seizure measures of almost half a billion euro.
These are the most impressive figures since the setting up of DNA.
This progress presents the image of an institution which functions pro-actively, efficiently, firmly and bravely.
These results oblige us to also launch a discussion about the necessary reform of the state in terms of preventing and combating corruption.
Is it a good thing that each year there are more people indicted for corruption?
Is it a good thing that more and more people get convicted?
The answer must be given by our society.
The cases under investigation show us that we haven’t caught all the corrupt people. Our results prove that there are major vulnerabilities which endanger the good functioning of our society.
Corruption has dramatic effects and it manifests through the same repetitive actions. In the absence of clear measures for preventing and controlling this phenomenon, the typology of the investigated crimes and the mechanisms allowing them to be committed repeat themselves.
There are sectors in public procurements where corruption is generalized. Many times, the awarding of contracts or the payments related to contracts are conditioned by receiving different sums of money disguised by fraudulent deals or fictitious agreements.
Corruption crimes have direct effects on all of us. In many cases, the money given as bribe to public officials is often obtained from tax evasion, embezzlement or other crimes. Thus, the amounts which should have been used for salaries or public investments reach in fact the pockets of corrupt public officials.
Corruption is reflected in the quality and price of services provided to citizens.
Citizens are affected by the quality of the roads when the acceptance report upon completion of work is signed in exchange for bribe. Citizens pay a higher price when bribe is given for marketing medicines.
In the files sent to trial by DNA, the value of the money given as bribe amounts to € 431 million. This sum can be compared to the budget provided for the highway co-financing program for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Almost 500 people with management positions were indicted. An increase by 30% compared to last year.
We can see that each year we remove corrupt public officials from their positions. We send to trial more and more cases. There are more and more conviction decisions.
Has this effort resulted in cleaner institutions?
The results of DNA investigations must be a strong signal. It is necessary to have a strategic approach for preventing corruption. It is necessary to have a communication in real time among all the institutions in charge with checking public procurement procedures. A closer cooperation with the private sector may lead to increasing the trust of fair investors in signaling potential corruption crimes.
There are public institutions where corruption keeps increasing every year.
The number of indictments against those who manage funds from the public budged tripled last year.
Over 100 Mayors and Presidents of County Councils were sent to trial.
A third of the Presidents of County Councils of Romania were indicted.
Is this a coincidence? Is there a connection with the public position and the managed budget?
Certainly, it is the result of a non-transparent way of using the public budget.
As long as the planning of a public procurement is not transparent, the budget for over evaluated procurements will be used. Citizens’ money will continue to be used for procuring expensive medical equipment from petty companies while hospitals cannot provide minimum conditions for patients.
As long as the order for making payments can be decided discretionary, there will continue to be public officials who receive bribe in exchange for favoring certain companies.
Recovering the proceeds of crime represented an important component in 2015. The compartment for financial investigations of DNA became operational, which led to an increased level of recovering the proceeds of crime.
We ordered seizure measures of almost half a billion euro.
Many times, the cases investigated by DNA involve people who get huge profits and sometimes benefit from the complicity of certain authorities. The goods are often concealed behind fictitious legal acts. Off shore companies are used. Bank accounts are opened in other jurisdiction. Goods are purchased in other countries.
Over 110 international mutual legal assistance requests were sent by DNA to foreign judicial authorities for collecting evidence or identifying assets. It is the highest number of sent mutual legal assistance requests since the setting up of DNA. The evidence thus obtained show that no felons should feel safe, regardless where they hide their money.
In the DNA cases in which the courts ruled final conviction decisions in 2015, the Romanian State has to recover almost € 200 million. This sum should effectively reach the state budget if it were executed by the tax authorities.
As I have mentioned before, it is important for final decisions to be effectively enforced. It is the only way to achieve the purpose of the punishment.
Let us not forget that this money belongs to the state budget by law and it must be used for the benefit of society.
The success of our cases in courts constitutes a relevant element in our analysis. DNA’s judicial activity was conducted by 33 prosecutors who attended over 14,700 court sittings.
The activity of DNA prosecutors is carried out under the judges’ control.
The courts ruled final conviction decisions against 970 defendants sent to trial by DNA, thus confirming the objective and professional character of the cases investigated by DNA.
For the first time in the last years, the acquittal percentage decreased to 7.63%.
The duration of trials decreased even though there are more and more files sent to courts. In 2015, the cases for which the courts ruled final decisions in less than a year increased by more than 60%.
We were preoccupied with the decisions ruled by courts in order to avoid different solutions for the same legal issues. The High Court of Cassation and Justice is the benchmark of jurisprudence we take into consideration when we orient our practice.
We must make sure that final decisions are respected and enforced as a guarantee of the rule of law.
Justice makes a huge effort to investigate and indict corruption crimes, using society’s financial resources. Then, we see many times how the judicial mechanisms and procedures are interpreted and enforced differently. Some of the convicted people do not execute the entire punishment ruled by judges. Some of them are released on probation without recovering the damage or by using administrative tricks.
In time, such situations lead to the gradual loss of state authority and to a serious lack of trust in public institutions.
Even though the legal provisions of the Criminal Code which came into force 2 years ago provide that the release on probation may be granted only after recovering the damage, the judicial practice is not unitary. We have addressed an appeal in the interest of the law to the High Court of Cassation and Justice for it to reach a decision.
Justice is a public service and many times we function under the pressure of a high social demand. Here are some of people’s demands.
The level of expectations regarding DNA’s activity has become very high. Sometimes, people would want DNA to solve problems which are not under our jurisdiction. It does not mean that citizen’s expectations are not justified or that they shouldn’t be met.
But the fight against corruption shouldn’t mean only pretrial detentions, indictments and convictions in DNA cases.
Our actions may have long lasting effects only if they are doubled by preventing actions conducted by the other institutions and authorities of the state, by the education sector and business community.
The main challenge DNA has been facing is determined by the continuous increase of its workload.
The number of files has reached over 11,000. Double compared to 5 years ago.
The criminal investigation activity was conducted, on average, by 97 prosecutors. Each prosecutor had to solve on average over 110 files. Such a high number of complex cases influences the duration for solving them.
This is how a single DNA file looks like. This file is investigated by a prosecutor who has to deal with other tens of cases.
Currently, we have to solve over 7,100 cases. Double compared to how many we can solve in a year.
A first solution would be to increase the number of prosecutors and police officers. But this solution will not be efficient if the workload continues to increase at the same pace.
It must be accepted that we cannot expect more from prosecutors if things do not change.
Such a change should be made through real and serious strategies for preventing corruption.
In some situations, the unconstitutional provisions created a legislative void, which generated judicial uncertainty and non-unitary practice. Legislative amendments are necessary, but they should not affect the jurisdiction or the investigative tools. We want to be consulted in a serious manner regarding the legislative amendments which concern our activity.
The intervention of the Romanian citizens and civil society was vital for us when there were attempts of limiting unexpectedly our jurisdiction.
In order to achieve good results we shouldn’t patch justice but we must provide it with the necessary instruments.
The results achieved so far have also shown a change in how people relate to DNA. The ever higher number of people who notify us about serious corruption crimes represents a proof in this respect. Over 86% of the cases registered last year are based on notifications received from individuals or legal entities and public institutions.
It motivates us that the public trust in DNA has reached the highest level since its setting up. DNA enjoys a public trust of over 61%, the highest level of trust for an institution from the judicial system.
It is worth mentioning that, as in previous years, DNA’s activity was well appreciated by the European Commission. The Reports drawn up within the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism considered DNA’s results impressive, showing at the same time that the fundamental rights were observed during the criminal proceedings.
Another characteristic of 2015 was the efficiency of our cooperation with our main partner institutions and I would like to thank them for that. The only possibility of answering efficiently to the criminal phenomenon is the dialogue among all the stakeholders and the identification of common solutions.
Continued and increased international cooperation represents a priority for DNA and I take this opportunity to thank the embassies for their support in successfully carrying out our international programs, our mutual legal assistance requests and for their constant support of our activity.
In 2016, beyond continuing to investigate high level corruption cases, DNA’s priorities will also aim at investigations regarding:

- corruption in local public administration;
- corruption in the judicial system;
- corruption in the institutions of control and enforcement of punishments;
- corruption in public procurements, especially in the fields of healthcare and infrastructure;
- frauds against the financial interests of the European Union;
- recovering damages and extended confiscation.

DNA’s activity must continue to be defined by professionalism, consistency, promptness, efficiency, responsibility and transparency.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All these positive results wouldn’t have been possible without the professional contribution of the prosecutors, police officers, specialists, clerks and the entire staff of DNA.

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for your consistent, continuous and professional effort this year. Thank you for the solidarity, courage and determination you proved in your activity. Through the work that you do, you are the most important asset of our institution.
Together we went through a difficult year. Due to our investigations we were constantly attacked this year. There have been attempts of amending the procedures and our investigative possibilities. Our work worried many people who considered themselves untouchable. Our work bothered those who considered their position a guarantee for intangibility.
But we kept going fairly and professionally. And it was the best answer.
In this fight we had on our side the most important ally: the Romanian citizens. Without them, our work wouldn’t have been possible. There are thousands and thousands of people who support our work. These are those honest people who want a society built on fairness and respect. These are those honest people who a few months ago yelled "Corruption Kills".
This awareness of the society is what helps us the most in our fight against corruption.
And we must continue to investigate corruption crimes. And devote our activity to cleaning up the country. Remain seriously involved and investigate the corrupt regardless of their position or wealth. Stay brave and determined.
We must meet that expectation of society to have a country without corruption. But for this to happen...all of us here, in this room, must continue to want the same thing.

THE INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE