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Direcția Națională Anticorupție






November, 9th, 2017
No. 1050/VIII/3

Press release

Mrs. Laura Codruța Kövesi, Chief Prosecutor of D.N.A, was invited to take part today, November the 9th 2017, in the special event entitled Revisiting the Jakarta Principles: Strengthening anti-corruption agencies’ independence and effectiveness organized in Vienna within the Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

In front of the participants – heads of anticorruption agencies, practitioners and anticorruption experts from all over the world – the Chief Prosecutor of DNA gave a speech entitled "Safeguarding the DNA’s independence: the continued relevance of the Jakarta Principles", underlining which were the essential premises for obtaining credible and real results in the fight against corruption:
- the independence of the judicial system
- a specialized structure in combating corruption
- legislation which offers efficient investigative tools.

The Chief Prosecutor of DNA referred to the both perspectives of independence "the independence of the judicial system in terms of its relation with the executive and legislative authorities and also the prosecutor’s individual independence within the internal hierarchy".
Since 2013 until now, DNA has sent to trial 68 high officials: 1 Prime Minister, 2 Deputy Prime Ministers, 11 ministers and former ministers, 39 Deputies, 14 Senators and 1 member of the European Parliament.

The courts have ruled final conviction decisions against 27 of these high officials for corruption offences or offences assimilated to those of corruption: 5 ministers, 17 Deputies, 4 Senators and 1 member of the European Parliament, the rest of the cases being still on trial.

Recovering the proceeds of crime represents an important component in DNA’s investigations. In the same period, in DNA’s cases, seizing measures were ordered for more than € 2 billion.

The presented results would no longer be possible if the Romanian prosecutors lost their independence, insisted Mrs. Laura Codruța Kövesi.
Moreover, she suggested an example:
„If the prosecutors were subordinated to the executive power, how could they ever open investigations against a member of the Government or against a Secretary of State? Or against someone else who is a high official and who is also a member in a political party? Would there be any guarantees that the investigation is fair and impartial? Would there be any guarantees that there would be no repercussions against the magistrate who opened or finalized the investigation?
Or if the prosecutors were under the authority of the Parliament, would there be any investigations against Deputies or Senators?"

Mrs. Laura Codruța Kövesi concluded that "the most important challenge we are facing now is to keep the magistrates’ independence. Currently, a law is a debated within the Romanian Parliament regarding the status of the magistrates and if it passes, it will have a serious negative impact on the independence of justice and it will result in a political control over the prosecutors’ activity.
This is the reason why the Jakarta Principles are ever more current and relevant."
The Jakarta Principles were adopted in 2012, when the heads of anticorruption agencies, practitioners and anticorruption experts from all over the world met in the capital of Indonesia, following the invitation of the Commission for Eradicating Corruption, of UNDP and UNDOC and have as purpose promoting and strengthening the independence and efficiency of the anticorruption agencies.
Among the Jakarta Principles there are:
- drawing up a proper and stable legislative framework for setting up anticorruption agencies meant to ensure the continuity of such agencies
- the appointment of the heads of the anticorruption agencies must follow a process that ensures his or her apolitical stance, impartiality, neutrality, integrity and
- the heads of the anticorruption agencies must have security of tenure and be removed only through a legally established procedure equivalent to the procedure for the removal of a key independent authority specially protected by law, such as the President of the Supreme Court.

The entire speech is posted in the Events Section (first page at the bottom, on the right).