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Former President Basescu on anti-graft chief Kovesi: I expected her to take responsibility for shortcomings
traian Băsescu

Romania's former President and currently national leader of the opposition People's Movement Party (PMP) Senator Traian Basescu said on Sunday evening that, in his opinion, anti-graft chief Laura Codruta Kovesi should not be replaced from the management of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) but she should clean up DNA, adding that both she and President Klaus Iohannis have failed for not publicly acknowledging the DNA errors and deficiencies.

Basescu said that there are "Orange orchards" in the DNA, referring to beleaguered prosecutor Mircea Negulescu aka Portocala, Romanian for orange, and that if he were in Kovesi's shoes she would have taken responsibility for the shortcomings and would have drawn a plan of measures to "increase DNA's performance and accuracy," including an evaluation of all subordinate prosecutors.

"There are things that I think a chief prosecutor might have a minimum of flexibility in acknowledging (...) I was expecting her to take responsibility for some shortcomings of the institution, such as poor staff in some instances, to forged transcripts, forged expert reports, forcing denouncers and prosecutors-denouncer schemes," Basescu told B1TV private broadcaster.

According to Basescu, Kovesi will most likely remain at the helm of DNA until the end of her term.

"What scares me is what comes after her. I believe that this is the prospect, her staying her tenure out (...) and then she will see her what to do (...) There are more options for her starting in 2019: either Brussels, or presidential adviser, or returning to the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), from where I took her 12 years ago (...) or, if there were some more information (...) such as that provided by Mrs Moraru, she might get into legal problems. No options are ruled out (...), she can find herself in any situation after her office tenures runs out. Something that happened to me: eight criminal files drawn on me after my two terms in office expired," said Basescu.

The former president mentioned that he can also have words of praise for Kovesi, not just criticisms, but he cannot but notice some negative aspect, namely that after Kovesi's recent press statements, she gave an interview to a foreign publication in which she alleged to "a slander campaign against DNA."



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