Laura Codruța Kövesi

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Laura Codruța Kövesi
Laura Codruta Kövesi.jpg
Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate
In office
17 May 2013 – 9 July 2018
President Traian Băsescu
Klaus Iohannis
Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Dacian Cioloș
Sorin Grindeanu
Mihai Tudose
Viorica Dăncilă
Preceded by Daniel Morar
Succeeded by Marius Iacob (interim)[1]
Prosecutor General of Romania
In office
2 October 2006 – 2 October 2012
President Traian Băsescu
Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Emil Boc
Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu
Victor Ponta
Preceded by Ilie Botoș
Succeeded by Tiberiu Nițu
Personal details
Born Laura Codruța Lascu
(1973-05-15) May 15, 1973 (age 45)
Sfântu Gheorghe, Covasna County, Romania
Nationality Romanian
Spouse(s)
Eduard Kövesi (m. 2002–2007)
Parents Ioan Lascu (father)
Residence Bucharest
Alma mater Babeș-Bolyai University

Laura Codruța Kövesi (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈla.ura koˈdrut͡sa ˈkøveʃi]; born Laura Codruța Lascu; May 15, 1973) was the chief prosecutor of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate (Romanian: Direcția Națională Anticorupție - DNA), a position she has held since 2013 until her dismissal by president Klaus Iohannis on 9 July 2018. Prior to this, Kövesi was the Prosecutor General of Romania (Procuror General), attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Upon appointment in 2006, Kövesi was the first woman and the youngest Prosecutor General in Romania's history. She is also the only public servant to have held the office of Prosecutor General for the entire duration of its term.[2]

Kövesi was described by The Guardian in 2015 as a "quiet, unassuming chief prosecutor who is bringing in the scalps", leading "an anti-corruption drive quite unlike any other in eastern Europe – or the world for that matter".[3] Her tenure as head of the DNA has substantially increased public confidence in the institution, both within Romania and across the EU, with a 2015 poll reporting that a high 60% of Romanians trust the DNA (compared to 61% for the Romanian Orthodox Church and only 11% for the parliament).[3][4] In February 2016, Kövesi was renominated for chief prosecutor by the Ministry of Justice, based on the positive results achieved under her leadership.[5][6]

In early 2018. Justice Minister Tudorel Toader proposed her dismissal as DNA chief prosecutor after presenting a report on her managerial activity at DNA based on 20 categories and facts. Among the accusations were: excessive authoritarian behavior, discretion of the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, involvement in other prosecutors' inquiries, prioritization of the files according to the media impact, violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Romania and signing illegal agreements with the Secret Services. Following a decision from the Constitutional Court of Romania that upheld the Justice Minister's decision, President Iohannis was required to sign her dismissal from office.[7]

Life and studies[edit]

Born in Sfântu Gheorghe as Laura Codruța Lascu, Kövesi played professional basketball in her youth, at the club in Mediaș and in Sibiu, and was selected for the junior players national team which finished second in the 1989 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship for Women. Between 1991 and 1995, she studied Law at the 'Babes-Bolyai' University in Cluj Napoca. In 2012, Kovesi graduates with a PhD in Law with a thesis on combating organised crime.

Codruța Lascu married Eduárd Kövesi, an ethnic Hungarian, and kept his surname even after their divorce in 2007. She can speak some English and Hungarian.[8]

Professional activity[edit]

Between 15 September 1995 and 1 May 1991, Kövesi was a prosecutor for the Court in Sibiu. ON the 2nd of October 2012, replaced Ilie Botoș leading the supreme justice court in Romania, ÎCCJ ('Înalta Curte de Casație și Justiție').

Before her position as Prosecutor General, Kövesi was the head of the Department of Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism Offences (ro) (DIICOT) branch in Sibiu County.

DNA[edit]

Under Kövesi's leadership, the DNA made notable progress against high-level corruption in Romania.[3][9] having prosecuted dozens of mayors (such as Sorin Oprescu), five MPs, two ex-ministers and a former prime minister in 2014 alone. Hundreds of former judges and prosecutors have also been brought to justice, with a conviction rate above 90%.[3] In 2015, 12 members of parliament were investigated, including ministers: "we have investigated two sitting ministers, one of whom went from his ministerial chair directly to pre-trial detention", Kövesi said.[3]

As a result of the 2015 DNA yearly retrospective, Kövesi declared that 431 million euros in bribes was the amount given in the cases that were presented to the Court.[10]

Victor Ponta, former prime minister of Romania and the highest-ranking government official currently under DNA investigation and prosecution, accused Kövesi of being "a totally unprofessional prosecutor trying to make a name by inventing and imagining facts and untrue situations from 10 years ago". These comments were posted on his Facebook page, following his indictment on charges of forgery, money laundering, and tax evasion, brought against him by the DNA.[3]

Merits and distinctions[edit]

  • 2016: 'Legion of Honour' the highest honor of the French Republic through the french ambassador in Bucharest, François Saint-Paul. The distinction was offered for great devotion and 'extraordinary courage' in the fight against corruption, and for her contributions to civil society.
  • 2016: 'The Order of the Polar Star' (Swedish: Nordstjärneorden) offered by the king of Sweden for her fight against corruption in Romania.
  • 2016: European of the Year, Reader's Digest.
  • 2015: Prize from the 'The Group of Social Dialogue'
  • 2014: 'Courageous Women of Romania' prize from the US Embassy.
  • 2012: The decoration National Order of the 'Romanian Star' in rank of Knight, awarded by former Romanian president, Traian Băsescu.
  • 2011: Decorated 'Officer of National Order for Merit' offered by the President of France.
  • 2011: 'Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding assistance and support on behalf of the law enforcement responsibilities of the United States Secret Service' awarded by the U.S: Secret Service Director.
  • 2008: The “Cybercrime Fighter Award”, October 2008, awarded by the McAfee Company, U.S.A.
  • 2007: 'Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding assistance and support on behalf of the law enforcement responsibilities of the United States Secret Service' awarded by the U.S: Secret Service Director.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]