Romania: Chief anti-corruption prosecutor asks permission to investigate former foreign minister Corlatean

National Anticorruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi requested on Monday the notification of the Senate to approve a criminal investigation of Senator Titus Corlatean (in photo), a former minister of foreign affairs, in a case on ballots abroad.


Kovesi has forwarded a request to this effect to the General Prosecutor (the head of the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Romania’s Supreme Court), who must notify the Senate. The approval of the relevant chamber of the Parliament — the Senate or Chamber of Deputies — is mandatory for criminal investigations of former ministers who are also members of the Parliament.

According to a release of the DNA, Corlatean, then minister of foreign affairs, breached the legal procedures and issued orders for the discretionary organization of polling stations abroad for the 2014 presidential elections; he thus allegedly obtained an undue advantage for the candidate of his Social Democrat Party (PSD), by limiting the number of votes abroad. Election results showed that PSD candidate Victor Ponta lagged in voters’ options abroad, with most of those votes going to Klaus Iohannis, who was eventually elected President.

Prosecutors say that Corlatean prejudiced the right to vote of Romanian citizens abroad and the interests of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the proper operation of the diplomatic missions.

The related charge is office abuse. In support of it, the DNA annexed to its request 19 volumes of copies of the criminal investigation file.


16 May 2016