President Klaus Iohannis has defended his appointment of two chief prosecutors to head the country’s top investigative agencies, after they were given a negative vote by a key judiciary body.
Speaking from Brussels on Thursday, Iohannis said he had great pleasure in signing off on all three prosecutors who were selected by Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu.
“I consider (them) to be very good,” he said.
Iohannis appointed Gabriela Scutea as the head of the general prosecution office and Giorgiana Hosu as the head of the anti-mafia Directorate for Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism, or DIICOT.
Both women failed to win the non-binding approval of the Superior Council of Magistrates , an independent body governing the judicial system which guarantees the independence of the judiciary.
Crin Bologa was appointed to head the National Anti-corruption Directorate, the DNA, the agency that investigates and prosecutes official corruption, ending 18 months of interim leadership. The council approved his nomination.
Iohannis said the negative votes, “ seemed to be fairly superficial in parts, while I thought the proposals made by (Justice Minister Catalin) Predoiu to be the right ones.”
Iohannis formally appointed all three on Thursday before traveling to Brussels for a European Council budget summit.
They were chosen after a selection process, which I found to be well organized, very transparent and properly done,” he said.
The three proposals were sent to the magistrates’ body which had “slightly different opinions,” he said.
“Taking into consideration that on the one hand I had proposals from the minister which I found to be well drawn up and well-motivated, and on the other hand the from
After the negative votes, the Predoiu wrote to Iohannis saying that he stood by the two nominees saying they were legally qualified for the posts and urged the president to sign off on all appointments.
The head of the Save Romania Union party, Dan Barna, called the two appointments “disappointing” and asked Iohannis and Predoiu to explain why they had disregarded the magistrates’ council.