Romania's Social Democrat government has tried to pass a series of controversial changes to the country's judicial system in recent months. The firing of the public prosecutor could draw the ire of the European Union.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader (pictured) accused Public Prosecutor Augustin Lazar of exceeding his authority and officially asked President Klaus Iohannis to remove him.
Lazar had received praise from the European Union for his part in tackling high-level graft in the country, one of the most corrupt in the bloc. In his role, he oversees an anti-organized crime agency and an anti-corruption agency.
Lazar said "the independence of prosecutors is being violated" upon hearing the justice minister's request.
A recent supreme court ruling means that the president does not have the right to oppose the justice minister's request.
In early October, supreme court judges rejected 60 changes to the criminal code. Critics had feared the amendments would allow the leader of the Social Democrats, Liviu Dragnea, to escape a jail sentence and two other prosecutions.