EU moves closer to confirmation of first chief prosecutor


In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, Laura Codruta Kovesi, Romania’s former chief anti-corruption prosecutor who will direct the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) – tasked with investigating fraud connected to the use of EU funds and other financial crimes, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, in Bucharest, Romania. For Kovesi, opposition to her successful candidacy to become the European Union’s first chief prosecutor came from a familiar source – her own country’s government. Kovesi spent five years as head of the Romanian Anticorruption Directorate and those indicted by her office included 14 Cabinet members, 53 lawmakers and a member of the European Parliament. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s member states have agreed to appoint Romania’s Laura Codruta Kovesi as the first European chief prosecutor.

Kovesi, whose anti-corruption efforts in Romania won her plaudits from the EU but criticism from the Romanian government, will lead the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office, scheduled to begin operating in November 2020.

So far, 22 of 28 EU countries have joined the office, which will investigate matters like corruption and cross-border tax fraud above 10 million euros ($ 11 million).

Kovesi is slated to be confirmed by the European Parliament, her appointment’s final step.

Kovesi, who faced intimidation and pressures in Romania, where her anti-corruption office indicted 14 Cabinet member and 53 lawmakers, told The Associated Press last week that “no matter what the pressure, I will do my job.”

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