Romania fails to select new chief anti-graft prosecutor

July 27, 2018 GMT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s justice minister on Friday rejected four prosecutors who applied for the country’s top anti-corruption post amid criticism the government isn’t committed to fighting high-level graft.

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said no candidate fulfilled the requirements for the prestigious but highly scrutinized job of chief anti-corruption prosecutor and that the hiring process will be extended until the end of August.

He did not say why no candidate was suitable. Two applicants were senior anti-corruption prosecutors while the others worked for the general prosecutor’s office.

The opposition Liberal Party accused Toader of having “a political approach” in favor of the government which it said “disregards the justice system.”

Former anti-graft chief Laura Codruta Kovesi was dismissed on July 9 by the president amid government allegations of incompetence and mismanagement. She has rejected the accusations.

The ruling Social Democratic Party has often criticized the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, claiming it unfairly targets politicians.

Under Kovesi’s leadership the agency won praise from the European Union, the United States and ordinary Romanians.