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….

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….

Legion of Honor

I see that the beatification of Saint Laura Codruta Kovesi continues apace as the French government just officially awarded her the Legion of Honor (French version ici), the highest civilian distinction that the French government has. I suppose she’s in good company. Other Romanians who have received this very prestigious and completely legitimate honor include:…

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…

All Hail Saint Laura

You know, about once a week I get some kind of offer to put ads on my blog, or sell something to foreigners/expats in Romania, or questions about how to do that sort of thing. And I always send ’em on over to Bucharest Life. In fact, even if you’re NOT trying to drive me…

Nitu Nitu!

Good lord, the wire services sure are getting sloppy. From Reuters, usually a step above the AP drivel from Alison Mutler: Prosecutor Tiberiu Nitu Nitu, 44 quit last week after prosecutors alleged that Oprea, also an interior minister, ordered unauthorised police motorbike escorts for him and Nitu. Oprea is already subject to an inquiry. Both…

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, Part 2

Word Count: 3711 After wrapping up my initial article on the subject yesterday, I continued to do some research. I was curious whether or not there was another way to investigate the DNA’s activities using statistics in an effort to penetrate the extremely mysterious way in which they achieve so many convictions. I started digging…