I was at the Academy’s library on Wednesday night. Traian Basescu had just passed on the Dacia Boulevard...I was at the Academy’s library on Wednesday night. Traian Basescu had just passed on the Dacia Boulevard. The whistle of the nervous policeman that appears in the intersection only when the President passes by, the sound of the sirens, and the voices of the secret service officers that offer him more protection than the USA President usually gets made us, the people who wanted to read inside the library, flinch. We were a lot calmer half a second later. We all knew what was going on. Then, I received an SMS that made me get out in the lobby: Mr. Cristoiu, can you go live on the phone after the statement of Traian Basescu? I had understood that the President was about to make an official statement at Cotroceni. “I can!”, I answered. If the President makes an official statement for the nation, it must be something very important.
Something like the fact that the Ukrainian President, Victor Iuscenko, transformed the Snakes’ Island into a special economical area of Ukraine. Or like the fact that the relations with the Moldavian Republic are getting worse by the day, or about the collapse of the national currency, about the increase in the prices in Romania. I listened to the President’s statement. I didn’t comment it live afterwards. It would have been useless. The President had taken care of the Norica Nicolai case again. He didn’t do it to tell us that he realized he had broken the Constitution by refusing to sign the naming decree, neither to end the scandal that didn’t bring anything good to anyone, but to mention again the accusations against the liberal senator.
On the 11th of January 2008, live on TV, Traian Basescu stated: “In 1987, Mrs. Norica Nicolai (former Mrs. Clinci), prosecutor at the Oltenita local Prosecutor’s office took care of a file that put an innocent person into jail. After the conviction, the Police found the actual felon”. With this statement, the Romanian President, the representative image of legality in this country, made two great mistakes:
1) He clearly broke the law by making public certain information in the personal file of a magistrate. He seemed to know the reaction of Laura Codruta Kovesi. The General Prosecutor could have asked for these details regarding Norica Nicolai to remain confidential. She should have protested against the fact that Traian Basescu showed the information in the file of Norica Nicolai to the entire country;
2) He lied. The file that Norica Nicolai presented for the first time on Tuesday night on Antena 2 as well as the investigations of certain newspapers proved that Norica Nicolai’s mistake that resulted in a warning from the General Prosecutors’ Office of the Socialist Republic of Romania in 1988 was an actual name confusion made by the Militia. The person who got mistaken for the real felon didn’t actually go to jail.
Of course, Prosecutor Norica Nicolai made a procedural mistake for which she got punished at that time. But this is no reason for a President to refuse to name her the Minister of Justice or to accuse her in front of the entire country of having sent an innocent man to jail. Some time ago, the journalists caught Traian Basescu driving after he had had a few drinks in a restaurant. Everyone accused him of driving after having a drink or two, not for having killed a person with the car that he was driving after having spent some time in the restaurant. I don’t know how Traian Basescu got to say such a serious thing about a citizen. An accusation that would have meant a lot of money for the person accused if it came from a journalist. It would have been normal for the President to come and present his apologies about lying to the people in prime time on national television. He didn’t. Moreover, he launched another lie. He said the file of the magistrate Norica Nicolai wasn’t a personal file, but an ordinary file like the ones of engineers, journalist, train mechanics, of all the laborers. A file that the security classified as the personal file of Norica Nicolai. Oh, common! There are no chances for him to get back on the right track!
- Translated by Sorin Bălan