February, 22nd, 2018
No. 184/VIII/3

Summary of 2018 Activity Report

2018 was for D.N.A. an atypical year, full of crossroads and special challenges:
- changes in the management of the institution,
- changes in legislation relevant to the operation or activity of D.N.A,
- decisions of the Constitutional Court of Romania with direct or indirect effects on the investigated cases (9 decisions in 2018 and 9 previous decisions with impact on the institution's activity),
- changes in the structure of the staff,
- control activities carried out by the Judicial Inspectorate (5).
In this extremely difficult context, the management of DNA, prosecutors and all operational staff of this Directorate aimed to continue the mission for which the direction was created, namely carrying out professional investigations in high and medium level corruption cases and pleading these criminal cases before the courts.
The main findings regarding the results of the activity carried out in 2018 by the National Anticorruption Directorate are as follows:
1. Priority was given to the solving by indictment of the cases in which significant damages were caused to the State budget, cases in which prosecutors have ordered precautionary measures to recover these damages.
As result of indictments, the damages accounted to for EUR 412.7 million, a amount 85% higher if compared to the damages ascertained in 2017.
Precautionary measures amounting to 400, 1 million euro were ordered for recovering the damage caused by the criminal offences, increasing by 139% compared to 2017.

2. Efforts have also been made to reduce the caseload of old criminal files, currently still under investigation.
Previously, a prosecutor had to solve an average of 104 cases, among which numerous complex cases (involving economic and financial macro-criminality, fraud in public procurements, with European funds or for the restitution of immovable properties, cases involving the gathering of a complex evidentiary, including also expert’s reports or technical-scientific findings reports and international legal support requests.
Thus, at the end of 2018, the stock of unresolved case files decreased to 4283 (compared with 6078 at the end of 2017 and 7566 at the end of 2016).
3547 files cases were ruled a decision on the merits of the case (9,7% less than 2017, but 6,1% more than in 2016).
At the same time, several files were resolved within one year and 6 months from the date of the notification, 4,5% more if compared to 2017. In 2018, the average of the cases solved per prosecutor was 45 cases.

3. Even if, in terms of quantity, DNA. scored a decreasing trend if compared to the previous year, this fact may have multiple causes. Thus, a particular emphasis was placed on ensuring a high quality standard of the criminal prosecution activity, on the hierarchical chief prosecutors checking the legality and the merits of the solutions ordered by the prosecutors, in order to avoid the acquittal solutions being ruled by the courts.
The decrease in the number of indictments (196 compared to 381 in the previous year) has multiple causes: the decrease of the number of notifications, the reduction of the number of prosecutors, the legislative changes occurred, etc. Specifically, the number of notifications submitted by the natural/legal persons or public institutions decreased to 1,513, 18% less than 2017, 47% than 2016 and 54% than 2015, when 3,305 notifications were submitted.

4. Several important cases aiming at the high and medium level corruption were finalised with drawn up indictments. DNA’s prosecutors drafted two requests for approval to start the criminal investigation against two Ministers were favourably solved by the President of Romania and a request for the approval to start the criminal investigation against the President of the Senate is under debate in the Romanian Senate.

Related to the capacity of the people sent to trial, a significant share - 155 people - held management and control positions, public dignities or other important positions.

Among the people sent to trial there are:
- 7 dignitaries: 1 Minister and vice-prim-minister, 1 deputy, previously acting as a president of County Council (in 2 files), 4 state secretaries (one of them acting as president of county council at the time the acts were committed), 1 senator (as result of the case file being sent back to DNA by the court, sent to trial in 2017), 25 mayors and vice-mayors, 4 presidents and vice-presidents of county councils, 7 county and local councillors, 17 people with management positions within the local authorities, 3 magistrates, 7 lawyers, 19 policemen, 18 presidents-directors of public institutions, 7 directors of state owned companies, 7 teaching staff and directors, 6 hospital managers and physicians.
5. In 2018, the trial courts continued to rule conviction decisions against a number of 584 defendants (713 defendants in the previous year), sent to trial in the indictments drawn up by the anticorruption prosecutors.

Among the people with final conviction decisions there are:

- 5 dignitaries: 1 Minister, 3 Members of the Parliament, 1 state secretary, 1 general secretary of a minister, 24 mayors and vice-mayors, 2 presidents and vice-presidents of county councils, 2 prefects and under prefects, 10 people with management positions within the local authorities, 9 magistrates, 10 lawyers, 18 officers of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of National Defence, 2 people with management positions in public institutions, 7 directors of state owned companies, 6 teachings staff, 3 hospital managers and physicians.

Other considerations on DNA’s activity:

Regarding the total number of acquittals, it is noteworthy that 79 defendants (more than one third of the total) were acquitted as a result of the decriminalization of the abuse of office (the act is no longer considered an offence due to some legislative changes) and the enforcement of the provisions of Article 18 of the old Criminal Code (acquittal because, although the act was ascertained to be committed, it was considered not to present a social danger).
A total of 123 defendants were acquitted (less than the 79 previously mentioned defendants).
In 8 cases, the Preliminary Chamber Judge ordered the final restitution of the case.
In 8 files, the judge of preliminary chamber ordered the final restitution of the case.
In 2018, significant legislative amendments were made to the Laws of Justice and many decisions of the Constitutional Court (in case of the exceptions of unconstitutionality or legal conflicts of a constitutional nature) which had a lot of influence on D.N.A’s activity.
There were identified 18 decisions of the Constitutional Court which allowed exceptions of unconstitutionality of important provisions regulating the carrying out of the criminal trial and two decisions by which legal conflicts of a constitutional nature were solved, one of which led to the possibility of challenging the final decisions ruled by the five judges' panels of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and subsequently the re-hearing of these cases.
As a result of the legislative changes, the jurisdiction was reduced in terms of D.N.A. investigating the offences according to the status of the defendant, by setting up the Section for the Criminal Investigation in the Justice System, as part of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, starting with October the 23rd, 2018. Subsequently, DNA sent a number of 275 cases to this new structure.
Also as a result of the setting up of this structure, a non-unitary practice was created with regards to the participation of the DNA’s prosecutors in cases with magistrates sent to court before October the 23rd, 2018, which raised some problems in the manner of organizing the pleading activity, given that some courts considered that the respective cases had to be solved with the participation of DNA’s prosecutors and others with the participation of the prosecutors of the Pleading Section within the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
Another important amendment affecting DNA’s activity was the change occurred in the conditions and the procedure for the appointment and delegation of prosecutors.
The seniority limits as a prosecutor or judge were increased for the appointment to the National Anticorruption Directorate from 6 years to 10 years, which has created and will continue to create major difficulties in identifying and recruiting prosecutors to carry out their activity in the National Anticorruption Directorate, but, in particular, has put of the delegation of 15 prosecutors within DNA in 2018.
Also, the procedure for the appointment of prosecutors within the National Anticorruption Directorate was modified, meaning that their appointment will be made as result of the proposal of the Prosecutors Section of the Superior Council of Magistracy, following a competition organized in this respect, which will also involve, among others, and an online interview, which could be arguments that would discourage prosecutors from participating in this procedure.
In 2018, no such competition was organised.
The fluctuation of staff (represented by the termination of employment relations concerning 68 people in 2018) and the incomplete establishment plan (90% jobs taken at the end of 2018) continues to be a vulnerability in the efficient organization of the activity.
The priorities for DNA for 2019 are to continue to investigate the corruption offences and those assimilated to high-level corruption and of the offences that caused significant damages to the national budget and to the budgets of the European Union, by focusing on the following priorities:
- Corruption in the health system
- Corruption in the field of forestry and illegal forestry exploitations
- Corruption in public procurement
- Corruption in the granting and using public subsidies
- The offences against the financial interests of the European Union.