Unique case in court. Whistleblower sues DNA for being 'sent for a walk'

Through a process recently opened at the Caraș-Severin Court, the head of the Caraș-Severin Agricultural Directorate, Marius Iosif Zarcula, sued the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) – Timișoara Territorial Service, asking the judges that the institution be obliged to inform him a filing order from a file opened following his denunciation.

A DNA whistleblower sued the institution because he was not notified of an ordinance

Concretely, Zarcula filed a complaint, during the year 2023, at DNA Timișoara, claiming acts of corruption. Because he did not receive any response regarding the fate of his complaint and the file, Zarcula asked the DNA to inform him of the status of the investigations. The National Anticorruption Directorate sent that the file was closed, and following this response, Zarcula, considering himself an interested party, requested to be notified of the closure order, which also includes the reasons for closing the file.

“This is the first time I have faced such a situation”

Because DNA Timișoara refused to notify him of the classification ordinance, the head of the Caraș-Severin Agricultural Directorate sued the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, asking the court to compel the institution to notify him of the ordinance.

Marius Zarcula refused to comment on the subject, but his lawyer, Loredana Sabo, explained how to get to this trial.

“We filed an action in administrative litigation and asked the court to issue a decision as a result of an institution's refusal to respond to a request, respectively to communicate a classification order to us. I waited for the 30 days to pass from the official request and after the expiration of the 30 days I filed the action in administrative litigation”said lawyer Sabo.

The lawyer says that she has never faced such a case before.

“It is the first time I am faced with such a situation: the refusal of a state institution, namely a prosecutor's office, to communicate the order placed in the file. The solution was not communicated either. We became aware through an address through which we were informed by the DNA that a classification order had been ordered. We were only told that we don't justify an interest, which is why he can't tell us the classification order”the lawyer also declared.

“My client had a constitutional right violated”

Zarcula's lawyer stated that, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the whistleblower should have been notified of the classification order.

“When a criminal case is resolved, regardless of how it is resolved, the order is communicated to all parties in the case. In such a situation, the classification order is communicated in a copy to the suspect, the defendant or, as the case may be, to other interested persons. From my point of view and from a constitutional point of view, no one can prevent the exercise of a constitutional right: the right of access to justice. My client, by refusing to communicate the classification order, is prevented from his constitutional right of access to justice”Loredana Sabo also declared.

The lawyer claims that, in the absence of the classification order, her client is unable to file a complaint against the DNA solution.

“It was only your option if you chose to challenge it to the first prosecutor and later to the court. No one has said that my client's intention is to challenge the order, but at least to take note of it and then decide whether to contest the listing order or not. That is why I tell you that it is the obstruction of a constitutional right of access to justice“, also declared the lawyer Loredana Sabo.

The defense attorney confirmed that Zarcula is also a suspect in a DNA file, but “the complaint was not formulated so that he could get an easier solution in the other file, especially since in the other file he is only a suspect, not to be accused”.

The mystery surrounding the classified file

Neither Marius Zarcula, nor his lawyer, nor the DNA wanted to communicate what the facts were denounced by the head of the Caraș-Severin Agricultural Directorate and who was targeted by the file closed by the DNA.

At the “Adevărul” request, the DNA only communicated that the file was closed on October 16, 2023.

“At the same time, we specify that any data relating to the status of alleged criminal cases, their resolution and the criminal prosecution documents carried out fall within the exceptions provided for in art. 12 paragraph 1 letter e from Law 544/2001 on free access to information of public interest as well as in the assumption of the provisions of art. 285 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code according to which the procedure during the criminal investigation is non-public. To obtain more information about the subject of the file mentioned in your request, please contact the court of law, namely the Caraș-Severin Court”says the DNA response.

The file from the Caraș-Severin Court has not yet received a deadline, being registered at the court on December 18, 2023.