Who will stand up for justice?
Romania’s president has let down the country, said Andrei Cornea. Klaus Iohannis may have been forced to dismiss the country’s top anti-corruption prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, but he didn’t have to do it in such a craven way. The honorable and crusading Kovesi has had the respect of the country since 2013 for her prosecutions of corrupt officials, including the head of the ruling Social Democrats, Liviu Dragnea. When the government asked Iohannis to sack her last February, tens of thousands of Romanians protested in the streets. Iohannis rightly refused to carry out that “miserable, unfair, and very partisan” request, but then the Constitutional Court ruled that he had to comply. Of course, he could not go against the court—but he could have accompanied the announcement of Kovesi’s dismissal with “words of appreciation and sympathy for her, and above all for the work she did over years of service.” He could have “had the courage to say that he was implementing an unjust decision that was foisted on him with a heavy heart.” Instead, he left the country and let his spokesman read out a “soporific statement about respect for law.” It was a disservice to Kovesi, to the cause of combatting corruption, and to Romania. “Pathetic, Mr. President!”