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Constitutional Court: Parliamentary committee to investigate SPP chief is unconstitutional, to be dissolved

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has ruled on Tuesday that the establishment of the parliamentary committee to investigate the activity of the Guard and Protection Service (SPP) chief, Lucian Pahontu, is unconstitutional.

Hence, the committee is to be dissolved, after the CCR will release its reasoning on the decision, ziare.com informs.

The decision comes as CCR admitted on Tuesday the notifications filed by PNL and USR regarding the setting up of the parliamentary committee to investigate the SPP chief.

CCR discussed, on March 14, the PNL notification regarding the setting up of the committee.

The Liberals claim that the Parliament’s decision in this case is unconstitutional as it violates the principle of legality by not observing Law 24/2000 on the legal technicalities on drawing the normative acts, as well as other provisions in the Constitution.

The notification mentions, among others, that an investigation committee does not have the constitutional ability to decide on the guilt or innocence of a person, but has the purpose to clarify the circumstances when the events occurred or certain actions took place, to decide on the conclusions and the decisions to follow. The investigation’s objectives exceed the issue of parliamentary control and go into the competence of other authorities – the Supreme Defence Council and the President, the Liberals say.

CCR has also debated, on Tuesday, the USR notification which challenged the decision to set up the investigation committee on the SPP chief’s activity, as it was in the same test case.

USR reasoned its notification to the CCR by saying that the setting up of the committee violates the Parliament Defence Committees’ competences.

The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies voted on February 20 in favour of the decision to establish the committee.

Social-democrat leader, Liviu Dragnea, said at the time that there were tensions between the Mihai Tudose cabinet and PSD and even within the ruling coalition. Dragnea said that, from the institutional point of view, any prime minister can have contacts with SRI, SIE and SPP, however, the SPP chief, Lucian Pahontu, had been involved in the Government more than necessary.

Subsequently, Dragnea launched new attacks against the SPP chief, saying he had a harmful practice by using his subordinates to collect information, and then he went to the prosecutor’s offices and courts to deliver the information. In his turn, ALDE leader, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, requested that SPP to be shifted to the Interior Ministry’s control, under the law.

 

About Valeriu Lazar