CSM asks Judicial Inspection to probe into SRI’s potential breach of judiciary’s independence

The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) on Tuesday decided to notify the Judicial Inspection body to check if the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has affected the judiciary’s independence by the recent statements made by intelligence general Dumitru Dumbrava.

CSM decision comes after it was notified by the National Union of Judges in Romania, the Association of Magistrates in Romania and by the Association of Prosecutors in Romania.

The judicial inspectors have to establish if the judiciary’s independence has been broken after Daniel Dumbrava, chief of the judicial department within SRI stated that the courts are tactical fields for SRI.

Judges and prosecutors in Romania last Thursday asked the parliamentary committee on SRI control in a letter to urge the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) to publicly clarify if statements made by intelligence general Dumitru Dumbrava, that SRI is involved in the Judiciary, represent the institution’s official position or just his personal opinion, reads a press release of the National Union of Judges in Romania (UNJR).

SRI general Dumitru Dumbrava told a recent interview that at present the Romanian Intelligence Service “is keeping its attention until the final ruling” in the corruption files. “This procedure when we are connected with prosecutors, police officers, judges and other similar institutions brought some aspects related to the judiciary’s corruption to the light, to some extents that should be tolerated but neither exaggerated (…) Let’s not forget that, first and foremost, prosecutors are the one who are investigating various corruption crimes committed by magistrates, and other judges are convicting them,” general Dumbrava told the interview, among others.

“General Dumbrava’s statements unveil a system that, pretending to watch over respecting the human rights and the fight against corruption, is actually brutally breaking these fundamental rights,” read the judges’ press release.

Basescu violated the independence of justice, final ruling

In Tuesday’s session, CSM also endorsed the judicial inspectors’ report in the case of the former president Traian Basescu, saying the ex-president has violated again the judiciary’s independence through some recent statements. CSM said that Traian Basescu “reflected on the judiciary as a whole by his statement that <the Judicial Inspection and CSM have turned into a punch in the mouth of every person who speaks about the judicial decisions>”.

“Following the public messages launched by Mr. Traian Basescu, former president of Romania, during the show ‘Last Word’, broadcasted by B1 TV starting at 22:00 on April 29, 2015, the CSM leadership (…) has notified the Judicial Inspection in order to verify and determine if they undermined the independence of justice, with consequent undermining its authority,” reads a CSM release.

Former President Traian Basescu continued attacks on judicial institutions on Wednesday evening, saying the Judicial Inspection and CSM have become “a club in your mouth that apply directly to everyone who wants to express something about justice”.

Previously, also on Wednesday evening, during a show with ‘Nasul TV’, Traian Basescu harshly attacked the heads of judicial institutions, which he said are “bootlickers” which “make you sick”.

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