Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Tuesday that he will seek to block the appointment of the former head of Romania’s anti-corruption agency to the post of EU Attorney General.
Laura Codruta Kovesi was dismissed as the head of Romanian National Anti-Corruption Directorate at the request of Tudorel Toader after he criticised her methods for pursuing individuals suspected of corruption.
Kovesi’s supporters argue that her firing was due to her successful prosecution of ruling Social Democrat politicians and officials.
During her tenure, she brought thousands of corruption charges against officials, earning the support and admiration of Romanian citizens, grown tired of the flagrant graft that has blight Romanian politics.
In January, Kovesi took the Romanian government to the European Court of Human Rights to appeal her dismissal.
In the appeal she claims that her rights to a defence, a fair trial, and an appeal were violated when she was fired from her position.
Responding to news that Kovesi was named on the shortlist of candidates for the new post of Attorney General, Toader said he believes the members of the selection Committee overseeing the appointment “are not aware of the abuses committed by Laura Codruta Kovesi to the detriment of the citizens, to the detriment of the rule of law [in Romania].
“I will be writing to all of the European ministers of justice to inform them as to why she was removed from office,” said Toader.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) was set up in 2017 by 22 of the EU’s 28 member states, including Romania, and is due to be launched by the end of 2020.
The final decision on the EPPO appointment is to be made by a majority of EU member states at the end of the month.
The appointment, which cannot be vetoed by any single country, must then be approved by the European Parliament.