Romania’s anti-graft boss booted out
Publish date: 12 July 2018
Issue Number: 619
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis this week dismissed the country’s top anti-graft prosecutor in a move that is likely to raise international concern, notes a report on the Deutsche Welle site. It says Iohannis had for months refused to sack Laura Codruta Kovesi, the popular head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, who the left-wing government accused of overstepping her authority and ordered dismissed. The President said he was forced to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling in May backing the demand of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) to sack Kovesi. Flanked by dozens of prosecutors, a defiant Kovesi made a televised address calling on Romanians to continue to fight corruption, according to the report. It says she also accused politicians of seeking controversial legal reforms to weaken criminal convictions for ‘protection for the past, the present and the future’. In office since 2013, Kovesi has gained international praise for her drive to fight graft in one of the EU's most corrupt member states. The report says hundreds of local and national officials, including three Ministers, five MPs and a senator, have been prosecuted for bribery, fraud and other corruption offences.