Committee alarmed at ‘politically motivated’ charges against Romanian former anti-corruption high official

PACE’s Legal Affairs Committee has expressed alarm at the criminal charges laid against Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former head of Romania’s anti-corruption body, and suggested the charges “may well be politically motivated”.

In a statement adopted today, the committee said the charges against Ms Kovesi – which include taking bribes, abuse of office and giving false testimony – could be aimed at discrediting her as a candidate to become leader of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, for which she is one of three candidates.

Ms Kovesi’s efforts to fight corruption had been “highly praised” by civil society, the EU and the Council of Europe, the committee pointed out, while her office had been subject to political attacks, eventually resulting in her dismissal.

The committee called on the Romanian authorities to “examine her case speedily and in line with the Council of Europe’s standards on fair trial, and to drop any charge which might be politically motivated”.