The Kövesi case: ECHR judges reprimand Romania
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Romania for removing Laura Codruța Kövesi from her post as head of the country's anti-corruption agency (DNA) in 2018. Romania had violated Kövesi's right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, the court said on Tuesday. Romanian media welcome the ruling.
Constitutional court violated fundamental rights
Romania's supreme court deserved this ruling, writes G4Media.ro:
“The authorities involved made a decision at the time that was deeply shameful for the state. ... And Romania's constitutional court behaved like a political hit squad, giving a public prosecutor a beating at the behest of a criminal. ... The public prosecutor was destroyed without being given the opportunity to challenge the decision and defend herself. This act violated her right to a fair trial, and indeed to her freedom of expression. How can this court guarantee compliance with the constitution when in a single case it has violated so many fundamental rights? It is absolutely justified that numerous judges are being called upon to resign.”
Courts must be immune to political influence
Commenting on his blog moise.ro, journalist Moise Guran says the ruling is the long overdue consequence of a fundamental problem:
“We must be grateful to Kövesi for the way she professionally and skillfully turned her own dismissal into an international law case in order to solve a huge Romanian problem: the fact that the politicians can influence the judiciary. Kövesi knows that international law takes precedence over national regulations when it comes to human rights. She also made clear what it was she hoped to achieve with the trial before the European Court of Human Rights, and sought no financial compensation. Her achievement is nothing less than an implicit amendment of the constitution: neither the minister of justice nor the president may exercise control over the magistrates any longer. Their role, at least when it comes to the removal of prosecutors and judges, must become a formal one only.”