Scandalous new allegations have been made against Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and its Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi by a former employee of the organisation and a former member of parliament.
Mihaela Iorga, who worked for the DNA until she was dismissed for her handling of a separate case, said that Kovesi asked her to speed up an investigation into a former minister, who was rumoured to be considering a run for prime minister. According to Iorga, Kovesi requested this because she feared that had that individual become prime minister his pick for justice minister would have been detrimental to the DNA.
Laura Kovesi denies the accusation.
Iorga made her allegations live on the tv channel Antenna 3. Calling into the same TV show, former MP Vlad Cosma also made accusations against the anti-corruption body, accusing DNA prosecutors of asking him to plant evidence against former Prime Minister Victor Ponta and former MP Sebastian Ghita. Ponta was accused of offering Ghita a seat in parliament in exchange for 220,000 euros and then using that money to cover the cost of a speech by Tony Blair.
While on air, Cosma played recordings of discussions of conversations he had with former prosecutors from the DNA office in Ploiesti.
The DNA responded to the accusations, maintaining that the recordings were edited, and claimed that Cosma’s allegations were motivated by his anger at the refusal of prosecutors to favor Cosma and his father in an influence-peddling case expected to be adjudicated on by the High Court of Cassation next week.
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said she was going to have a discussion with the Minister of Justice about the allegations and that she found the situation “very worrying for every Romanian”. Liviu Dragnea, the President of the ruling Social Democrats, however, called the accusations further evidence of the existence of a “parallel state” and said that the activity of the DNA resembles that of a “political police”.
The judicial inspectorate has announced that it will begin an investigation into possible misconduct by the DNA prosecutors.