07BUCHAREST556 / 2007-05-16 04:42:00
Embassy Bucharest
                C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BUCHAREST 000556 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE AARON JENSEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/13/2017 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, KCOR, KJUS, RO 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH ANTICORRUPTION DIRECTORATE 
CHIEF DANIEL MORAR 
 
REF: A) BUCHAREST 491 B) BUCHAREST 469 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Theodore Tanoue for reasons 1.4 (b) 
and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: In a May 14 meeting, National Anticorruption 
Directorate Chief Daniel Morar described to Ambassador the 
negative effects of recent actions by Parliament and the new 
Romanian Justice Minister in undercutting the effectiveness 
of anticorruption prosecutions.  Morar said parliamentarians 
wanted to probe into sources and methods, including the DNA's 
technical capabilities, and to establish parliamentary 
control over all wiretap operations.  He reported that recent 
parliamentary actions had, in effect, decriminalized certain 
types of bank fraud and money laundering based on such bank 
fraud.  Morar also characterized the new Justice Minister's 
dismissal of the DNA's top investigative prosecutor as an 
attempt to roll back anticorruption efforts.  Morar (and 
prosecutors close to the Prosecutor General) have told us 
that they now feel politically vulnerable.  If the Justice 
Minister succeeds in removing the DNA Deputy Chief Doru 
Tulus, even a reinstated President Basescu may be unable to 
reverse the damage done to anticorruption prosecutions.  End 
summary. 
 
2.  (C) The Ambassador met with Daniel Morar, Chief of 
Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), on May 
14 to discuss the effects of recent moves by Parliament and 
the new Minister of Justice Tudor Chiuariu to hinder the 
effectiveness of the DNA's anticorruption prosecutions.  The 
Ambassador emphasized that it was essential for Romania to 
have a strong democracy based on the rule of law--both for 
Romanians' sake and as the cornerstone of U.S.-Romanian 
relations.  He noted the extensive training and support the 
Embassy had provided for the Anticorruption Directorate 
through the Resident Legal Advisor's (RLA) programs, 
including contributing to DNA's technical effectiveness, and 
asked Morar how the Embassy could further promote the 
independence of prosecutors. 
 
3.  (C) Morar thanked the Ambassador for the Embassy's 
attention to the DNA's anticorruption work and for the 
training and technical equipment donations (totaling almost 
$90k for non-wiretapping recording devices) that have made 
the DNA the first prosecutors' office in Romania to be able 
to conduct some modern undercover investigations independent 
of other institutions such as the police and the domestic 
intelligence service (SRI).  The Ambassador later toured the 
DNA's Technical Services and saw how the DNA has put the 
equipment to use in conducting undercover operations 
involving multiple cases of bribery of judicial and public 
officials involving tens of thousands of dollars.  The head 
of the technical service confirmed such equipment did not 
help to investigate cases of corruption involving higher 
amounts of money, as millions of dollars did not change hands 
in the form of currency, but rather through more complicated 
banking and real estate transactions.  Such high-level 
corruption investigations were conducted by the DNA's Section 
II, responsible for Combating Corruption, and usually 
involved complex financial analysis.  Morar noted that two 
DNA prosecutors were currently in the U.S. receiving training 
from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center on 
investigating financial crimes thanks to DNA's permanent 
contact with Embassy's RLA.  He added that training on 
investigating financial crimes was crucial to the DNA's 
mission and welcomed any additional training the U.S. could 
provide. 
 
Parliament's Offensive Against Anticorruption Efforts 
----------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Morar explained his and Prosecutor General Codruta 
Kovesi's recent refusal to appear before a parliamentary 
commission on wire tapping, explaining that "we are a 
separate power -- the judiciary cannot be questioned by 
parliament."  In response to insistence of parliamentary 
leaders that Kovesi and Morar appear for hearings, Morar said 
they notified the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), with 
a request for the CSM to determine whether magistrates are in 
fact subject to testifying to parliament.  Morar emphasized 
that prosecutors had the statutory right, with a judge's 
approval, to have and use wiretapping equipment.  He said he 
told the commission in writing that only SRI had the ability 
to wiretap and that the DNA only had computers and headphones 
to listen in.  Morar said the parliamentary commission (note: 
headed by PSD's Cristian Diaconescu.  End note:) was also 
interested in understanding what type of recording equipment 
the DNA possessed.  He commented, "Now that they know they 
can be heard, they're not talking anymore..." alluding to the 
 
BUCHAREST 00000556  002 OF 003 
 
 
difficulty in carrying out the DNA's mandate to investigate 
parliamentarians.  Morar also commented on the 
"irresponsible" misrepresentation of the commission 
publicizing that there were 3,800 wiretap authorizations in 
2006 and that most were by the DNA, despite Morar's having 
informed parliamentarians that the DNA conducted only 186 
wiretaps in 2006. 
 
5.  (C) Morar said the parliament was debating a 
controversial draft law that would create a single agency 
with sole rights to conduct all wiretaps.  He said that 
parliamentary committee would then have the right to review 
all wiretaps twice a month.  Morar emphasized that he was 
"strongly against" this legislation since some 
parliamentarians had recently tipped off two members of SRI 
that they were under investigation by the DNA.  Morar 
believed this political "oversight" of the operational 
activity of prosecutors would seriously undermine the DNA's 
ability to prosecute high level corruption. 
 
6.  (C) Morar also briefed the Ambassador on the effects of a 
recent law that decriminalized certain types of bank fraud. 
He said that the DNA currently had 52 cases involving bank 
fraud at trial covering at least 200 defendants and that all 
would be acquitted as a result of this law.  Morar claimed 
that since Parliament had decriminalized bank fraud, there 
was nothing a judge could do but acquit.  He said "we have 
acquittals each week," which he pointed out had raised 
concerns during the European Commission's monitoring that not 
only bank fraud, but also money laundering cases would end in 
acquittals.  Morar said that in all these investigations, 
there was "no other possibility other than having cases 
closed." 
 
Justice Minister Chiuariu's Dismissal of the DNA Deputy Chief 
---------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C) Ambassador asked DNA Chief Morar what the effects 
were of Justice Minister Chiuariu's May 8 request for the 
dismissal of the DNA Deputy Chief Doru Tulus.  Morar replied 
that the removal of the DNA's Section II Chief would have a 
big effect since his section investigates "the most important 
cases of fiscal fraud." He said Tulus personally was 
responsible for investigations that had resulted in 
indictments of four MPs; Tulus coordinates and verifies the 
work of all prosecutors in Section II responsible for 
combating corruption.  Morar affirmed the statutory right of 
Justice Minister Chiuariu to revoke the head of a section 
within the DNA, but said the "overnight" decision was a 
surprise and had been made without consultation.  Morar 
commented that two of the four reasons Chiuariu cited for the 
dismissal were false, since the cases mentioned had nothing 
to do with Tulus, predating his tensure as chief of the 
section.  Beyond the direct effect on Tulus, Morar noted that 
all of the prosecutors in that section now felt that 
positions were "fragile." Morar also noted that, on the 
following day, two of the twelve scheduled interviewees for 
prosecutorial positions at the DNA withdrew and two recently 
hired prosecutors asked to be transferred from the DNA. 
Morar hoped the advisory opinion of the CSM on the , due on 
May 16 on the Justice Minister's request  for Tulus to be 
dismissed, would "calm things down."  Yet he also noted that 
the CSM's opinion was only consultative and that it remained 
"in the hands of the President" to sign a dismissal. (Note: 
If signed, Tulus would be demoted out of the DNA and sent 
back to his Cluj office.  This would affect most high-level 
corruption cases as he was investigating or directed 
investigations against parliamentarians and public officials 
from every party.  End note.) 
 
8.  (C) Morar commented indirectly on the Social Democrats' 
(PSD) initiative to return the authority to appoint and 
remove key prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice to the 
CSM.  (Note: PSD leader Mircea Geoana and Senator Cristian 
Diaconescu told poloff separately they would pass such a law 
this week.  End note.) Morar noted the authority had been 
changed from CSM to the MOJ in 2004 since the CSM had not 
been going after high level corruption.  Morar commented that 
such authority was fine "if we have a good and correct 
Justice Minister," but, "if we have one influenced by 
politicians then we have problems." He noted the difficulties 
the 70-member CSM has when making decisions to remove 
prosecutors "even when they see that person not doing well." 
Morar stated that if CSM would take its role more seriously 
in reviewing the work of magistrates, it would be good for 
this authority to reside solely within the judiciary.  He 
asked for any help the Embassy could provide "to make 
politicians responsible for reasonable and defensible 
actions, to tell politicians openly to follow and respect 
 
BUCHAREST 00000556  003 OF 003 
 
 
commitments, and to stress to them that if they establish an 
agency to fight corruption, let it do its job." The 
Ambassador replied "we will look to be helpful without 
interfering in the laws of Romania." 
 
9.  (C) Morar warned that besides changing prosecutors, the 
new Minister of Justice could put pressure on prosecutors by 
merging the DNA with the Department for Investigating 
Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).  Morar maintained 
that these two bodies are in no way similar and that no 
prosecutor wants such a merger. 
 
Anticorruption Prosecutors Feeling Vulnerable 
---------------------------------- 
 
10.  (C) In response to the Ambassador's question, DNA Chief 
Morar said he did not personally feel threatened, but as head 
of the institution he felt responsible for prosecutors 
working there.  "I know how hard it is to convince 
prosecutors to work for us.  We don't need this agitation 
now.  We will continue our job and investigations.  We will 
not slow down for the referendum or for elections." 
 
11.  (C) Comment:  Officials at the DNA were very 
appreciative of the Embassy's 5/14 press release underscoring 
our support for anticorruption efforts here and for the 
Anticorruption Directorate's work.  Prosecutors feel 
extremely vulnerable during the interim presidency of Senator 
Nicolai Vacaroiu since only the President has the authority 
to remove and appoint the top prosecutors based on the 
Justice Minister's recommendation.  Prosecutor General 
Kovesi's office conveyed to Emboffs similar concerns. 
Parliamentarians appear intent to rid themselves of the 
specter of being investigated for corruption during President 
Basescu's suspension.  By rushing through the removal of the 
DNA's Deputy Chief, they could hamper the majority of the 
DNA's prosecutions against high level corruption.  If they 
succeed, even a reinstated President Basescu would have his 
hands tied by the Justice Minister's recommendation to 
appoint the DNA's most important investigative prosecutor. 
End comment. 
TAUBMAN 

            
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