DNA chief Kovesi: EUR 620m damages in abuse of office files in 2015. Corruption in health system – a priority

42% of the cases investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) include offenses of abuse of office, and the damage amounts to EUR 620 million only in the files handled last year. If this offense is decriminalized, the state can say goodbye to this money, public servants can do whatever they want, and those who are to lose are the citizens, said Laura Codruţa Kovesi to Digi24.

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The DNA chief added that, especially in the health system, “most corruption cases are made through abuse of office, which is in fact disguised bribes.” Bribe giving in the health system is higher than in other fields and sometimes of up to 20% of the contracts, Kovesi said.

“We’re talking about those contracts that conceal the bribe and they are most commonly found in the health system. Therefore it is very important what will happen on Tuesday at the Constitutional Court (CCR). If such a crime (abuse of office – our note) will be decriminalized, this offense will no longer be investigated,” said the DNA chief.

Corruption in the healthcare system is a priority for DNA, she added. She stated that there is a pattern – people with decision-making power in the health institutions take bribes in order to award contracts on public money or to prescribe certain drugs. “There’s money to be repaid to the state, but if this offense is decriminalized, the state can say goodbye to the money,” she added.

The DNA chief said that the judges of the Constitutional Court requested an opinion from DNA.

“We want the state to want to investigate high-level corruption cases. In order to do this, we need legislation. We will not be affected, the citizens will,” said Laura Codruţa Kovesi.

On the other hand, if abuse of office is decriminalized, “civil servants and dignitaries will have no responsibility, because we will not have the offense for which to punish them according to the law, and they can do whatever they want, to conclude any contracts. Large damages would not be recovered,” she added.

The DNA chief said on the CCR decision expected on June 15 regarding the abuse of office, that she wants to continue to do her work and explained that if offenses are decriminalized, the DNA will no longer be able to do its job.

The Romania Journal 

10 June 2016