Did Laura Kovesi Just Tell Another Big Lie?

It’s cold and snowy right now in Romania, but yesterday, former DNA (the anti-corruption bureau) chief Laura Codruta Kovesi decided to give an impromptu press conference to two different television channels outside the ICCJ (court) where she works. You can read it in Romanian here and a summary here in English from the propaganda outlet…

The Hollow Men

Another day in the funhouse world that is Romania. First, the European Court of Human Rights has – yet again – ruled against Romania, this time for torturing people. From the ECHR: Romania committed several rights violations due to its complicity in CIA secret detainee programme. In today’s Chamber judgment, in the case the European…

Facebook Blues

Well, just as I predicted, the onset of cold weather means that protests will start heating up across the Romanian world. Indeed, Romania saw widespread protests on November 27, once again demonstrating how upset people are by the political elites who keep trying to subvert the justice system in order to stay out of jail….

10 Years of Fail

Well, the new Romanian government has been in power for just a week and has already made me laugh. This morning, I saw Justice Minister Florin Iordache confidently declare that 2017 was going to be Romania’s year – finally! – to graduate from the MCV program and become an adult member of the European Union….

Ignorantia Juris Semper Excusat

You know, sometimes things in Romania are so absurd that when you hear about yet another tragedy, you almost have to laugh. Almost. First up, Justice Minister Raluca “I Need A Billion Euros to Spy On You” Pruna agreed with the recent Constitutional Court (Supreme Court) ruling that ignorance of the law is an excuse….

The Fail Whale Checklist

Word Count: 1984 For years, I’ve been writing about the numerous failings great and small of government agencies and political leaders in Romania. Certainly no country is perfect and some mistakes and missteps are to be expected. But the subject of this article encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the country and why no amount…

Kovesi Warns of Even More Prosecutions

It’s been interesting watching how Bloomberg has been reporting on Saint Laura‘s prosecuting juggernaut. First, they warned that her rampaging prosecutions were bad for business and then today they announce that the DNA is set to redouble its efforts to get a record number of prosecutions this year: Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutors are adding manpower and…

The 2016 MCV Report

Word Count: 1883 After writing two exhaustive inquiries into the workings of the DNA, I was highly eager to read the MCV reports published on January 27, 2016 for Romania. Yes, they’re filled with dense technical terms and legalistic writing but hey, that’s what gets me excited. I’d already read media stories that the MCV…

2 Articles on Corruption

I was quite interested in seeing this rather even-handed but somewhat superficial investigation into corruption in Romania by British channel ITV, focusing on the fallout from the November 2015 Collectiv fire. A choice quote from a Romanian interviewed for the story: “This”, one of the survivors of the fire told me, “is what happens when…

Investigating the DNA

Word Count: 2854 Ever since Victoria Nuland decided to discuss the re-instatement of Laura Codruta Kovesi as head of the DNA (the National Anti-Corruption Directorate) last week, I started asking myself, “What do we really know about this agency?”. The short answer is: not a whole hell of a lot. Everyone (who hates corruption that…

The Beatification of Laura Codruta Kovesi

Word Count: 2681 Over the past few days, I’ve been keeping a sharp eye on Victoria Nuland, the tip of the spear of America’s policy in this region. In her speech at the American Embassy on Monday (still not on the Embassy’s website), Nuland had plenty to say on a number of topics, including the…

Lay on, Macduff!

I have to admit that yesterday my curiosity was greatly piqued by the way certain information was transmitted. The big “super immunity” story, by which the Romanian Parliament re-classified themselves as private sector employees in order to escape jurisdiction by the anti-corruption agencies, was a hot topic all over Romanian media yesterday. What surprised me…