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The message of Social Democrat leader, Premier Viorica Dancila for President Klaus Iohannis is that he should "let justice be independent", in the context of the statements made on Wednesday by the head of state regarding the Section for the investigation of criminal offenses in the judiciary.

"If I had made these statements or if I had requested the dismissal of the head of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, I think they would have lynched me by now, I would have been slammed on all the channels, Brussels would have been alerted, they would have cried out everywhere 'the PM is meddling with the judiciary'. I tell President Klaus Iohannis to leave justice alone, to let it be independent. Whereas so far it was him to demand this, now he is the one to intervene in justice and this is unacceptable. I've repeatedly stated that I will steer clear of any intervention with justice, that I won't dismantle the special section, nor make other decisions via emergency ordinance to intervene in the judiciary, but here's the President of Romania doing precisely this. (...) We now see that the President no longer wants an independent justice, he already sees a new government taking justice-related measures. This once again strengthens my belief that the censure motion must not pass and that this government must carry on, even starting from the independence of justice," Viorica Dancila said on Wednesday evening at Antena 3 private broadcaster.

Asked to comment on the fact that Justice minister Ana Birchall has a a different position than that of the party regarding the subject of the Section for the investigation of criminal offenses in the judiciary, the PM said: "As far as Mrs. minister Ana Birchall is concerned, she should have been removed from office by now."

"This is her opinion, it's not the Social Democratic Party's stance, nor a line of conduct drawn by the government of Romania. This is her opinion, we've said it every time that the Justice Ministry, the government must stay away from the judiciary, the judiciary must be independent, decisions must be made by magistrates, there must be a consensus to truly reach the independence of justice," said Dancila.

President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday criticized the PSD for the changes to the laws of justice and said that the issue of the special section for the magistrates' investigation "still has to be solved", and that this will be done. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Antonia Nita; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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