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Power player

Romania’s youngest prosecutor general is waging a war on corruption — and she’s winning

December 15, 2016

Forty-three-year-old Laura Codruta Kovesi, chief prosecutor at Romania’s Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), has been waging a war to eradicate corruption in her country. Romania has long been considered one of Europe’s most corrupt countries — alongside neighboring Bulgaria, Romania was even placed in a corruption-monitoring scheme by the E.U. after joining in 2007. Kovesi, a former professional basketball player and the country’s youngest prosecutor general, has been working to change that.

“Only last year, the DNA indicted over 1,250 defendants for high and medium level corruption crimes,” Kovesi told The Telegraph. “Among them, there was one prime minister (in office at the time of the indictment), five ministers, 16 MPs and five senators, 97 mayors and deputy mayors, 32 directors of national companies and 497 people with management positions within public institutions.” The aforementioned prime minister, Victor Ponta, resigned in November — two months after being indicted thanks to a DNA investigation.

Not everyone is pleased with her efforts. Kovesi has been likened to a “Stalinist prosecutor” by Jurnalul National, a newspaper owned by Dan Voiculescu, a business baron sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption. Adrian Nastase, a former prime minister who was sentenced to prison for corruption, has denounced efforts to prosecute him as a “witch hunt.”

Kovesi, for her part, appears to feel little remorse for the rich and powerful men she’s thrown behind bars. “The fact that ministers, senators, deputy secretaries of state or other public officials have been investigated by the DNA, and been convicted in a court proves that everybody is equal before the law, regardless of their social status or the fortunes they own,” Kovesi said.

With these convictions, Kovesi hopes, more Romanians can been emboldened to report corrupt officials — as opposed to simply accepting corruption as the status quo.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


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