The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) maintains that the amendments and additions expected to be made to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code will have a “devastating” effect on the criminal investigations, by eliminating the “indispensable” legal instruments by which the investigative bodies can investigate the offenses, cotidianul.ro informs.
In the opinion of the anti-corruption prosecutors, expressed on Thursday, the European Directive is used only as a pretext to remove the capacity of criminal prosecution bodies to reveal and prove crimes, and the purpose of these amendments has nothing to do with the benefit of the doubt.
“These amendments will have a devastating effect on criminal investigations, as it eliminates the indispensable legal instruments by which investigative bodies can investigate offenses.
In fact, all the guarantees under (EU) Directive 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the European Council on March 9, 2016 are already provided by the national law. Therefore, the Directive is used only as a pretext to eliminate the ability of criminal prosecution bodies to discover and prove crimes, and the purpose of these amendments has nothing to do with the benefit of the doubt,” the DNA release reads.
The chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi told Digi24 that the amendments the MPs intend to operate on the criminal codes will curtail investigators of efficient investigation tools.
“If the draft comes into force, there will probably not be any way to publicly inform about what’s going on in the judiciary“, Kovesi argued.
“We may never come to indictment if we are compelled to announce the investigated persons before any kind of investigations. What accounts can you check, what investigations can you make, what evidence can you operate if that person knows you are investigating him/her for a certain deed? If such a text comes into force, we can say DNA will close,” Kovesi warned.
In its turn, the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) slammed the criminal code amendments, voicing “concern over the parliamentary procedures, which are lacking transparence and which are conducted without consulting law professionals in the criminal judiciary field.”
DIICOT says that observing the right to defence and the equitable character of the procedures are essential, as well as the right to remain silent or the judicial bodies’ responsibility to search for inculpative evidence and to publicly inform about the suspects or defendants in criminal cases.
The special committee postpones amendments to the Codes for Monday
Florin Iordache, chairman of the special committee for the laws of justice, has said on Thursday that the Committee’s sitting would resume on Monday at 9:00h to debate the amendments and to draft the Reports on the amendments to the Laws of Justice 303, 304 and 317, followed by discussions on the Directive.
Iordache said that until Saturday, the senators could table amendments to the draft bills to amend Law 304 law on judicial organization and Law 317 on the CSM adopted Wednesday evening by the Chamber of Deputies.
Iordache said that after the reports were drawn up, the discussion on the transposition of the European Directive on the benefit of the doubt would be discussed.
The special committee for the laws of justice met on Thursday, on the agenda being the start of debates on amending the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, with the aim of transposing the EP Directive on the benefit of the doubt, with some amendments referring directly to the media and public communication.
The Save Romania Union (USR) has accused the special committee of trying to “clean up the Parliament from criminal files” along with the amendments to the criminal codes. Iordache replied: “It’s an opinion. It’s their problem. They have the possibility to criticize, to file amendments, for the time being they have file none.”
Asked if, in his opinion, the amendments exceed the framework set by the European Directive, Florin Iordache has said they do not exceed the framework of the Directive in regard to the benefit of the doubt.
Judge Danilet says MPs are trying to avoid criminal prosecution
Judge Cristian Danilet claims the PSD and ALDE MPs are trying, by amending the criminal code, to avoid criminal prosecution as some of them are investigated in large corruption files.
“I am surprised to see the energy proven by the Parliament, in two weeks of debating the laws of justice. For days, for hours, they have voted even during the night, and suddenly they turn to a new issue, to amend the criminal code. All these amendments are part of a puzzle the lawmakers are trying to build up so that the ones under criminal investigation in large corruption files, to avoid prosecution,” Danilet said on Thursday.