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Justice minister won’t give up partially decriminalizing abuse of office

Justice Minister announces Emergency Ordinance to review sentences based on SRI protocols or interceptions. Opposition: Dedication to offenders

Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, announced Wednesday evening he would propose to the Premier to adopt an emergency ordinance whereby the persons who believe have been sentenced on the basis of interceptions or protocols involving the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) will be able to call for the sentence review.

Toader said the ordinance could be issued ‘shortly’ after the vacations are over, adding that in this way ‘justice is done according to the Constitution’, digi24.ro informs.

“All delinquents believe they’ve been sentenced unfairly. Injustice: you are imprisoned, sentenced, even though the interception is not legal, it is a protocol. I will suggest the Premier an emergency ordinance to amend and accept review as a method to change a final ruling. Let’s give those who believe they’ve been unjustly sentenced the possibility to find out if the sentence is unjust of fair,” Minister Toader said during a talk-show on Antena 3 TV private broadcaster.

This will increase the citizen’s confidence that “justice is done according to the Constitution”, he added.

“If it is about the protocols and illegal interceptions, the request for review of sentence should become admissible. We are looking for levers to review the rulings. The guilty ones should pay, the innocent ones should not risk an unfair sentence. Let’s increase the justice effectiveness,” Tudorel Toader said.

PNL Chairman says disguised amnesty is being prepared for Liviu Dragnea

PNL Chairman, Ludovic Orban, claims that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader is preparing a disguised amnesty for the social-democrat leader, Liviu Dragnea, as emergency ordinance, and urges the Government not to promote such a normative act.

“Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, does not cease to side with the criminals in defending the interests of Liviu Dragnea and his clique, instead of being preoccupied with equal, independent and accessible justice for all citizens. (…) Emergency ordinances of the kind referred to by the Minister of Justice represent an unprecedented abuse. We are calling on the Government to refrain from promoting such an emergency ordinance, and if not, PNL will address the Ombudsman to notify the Constitutional Court,”  Ludovic Orban said.

USR leader says ordinance is dedicated to offenders

Save Romania Union (USR) leader, Dan Barna, said on Thursday that the emergency ordinance proposed by the Justice Minister “is dedicated to offenders, of which most are in public offices.”

“It is the same logic of delinquent state for which the Government is used, so that the offenders make the laws according to their needs. Now it is an attempt to eliminate from the files some of the evidence. (…) Thus, some persons, although the courts have no doubt on their guilt, become clean overnight,” Barna said.

He added that this is a sequel of the amendments brought to the Criminal Code.

Former CSM president argues the issue should not be approached in haste

Judge Horatius Dumbrava, former president of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) said the issue should be debated by Parliament.

“I believe the issue should be solved not by ordinance, is should be discussed by Parliament. I would avoid an emergency ordinance. (…) I suggest a draft bill in an emergency procedure, I don’t know if the review is feasible. An emergency ordinance is dangerous. (…) It is better that such issues go through the legal way in Parliament, with pros and cons, with specialists having their say. It is not an issue to be approached in haste. Parliament seems to me the best place where pros and cons can meet,” Hotarius Dumbrava said.

Former Justice Minister, Catalin Predoiu: An ordinance would violate the principle of judicial security

PNL Deputy, former Justice Minister, Catalin Predoiu, said an ordinance would violate the principle of judicial security, as it targets final rulings.

“I do not judge Minister Toader’s intentions, allegedly to mend the injustice, its consequences, from the fundamental principles of criminal law. An ordinance would violate the principle of judicial security, because it targets final rulings. Furthermore, the legal framework already has the levers to review a sentence. (…) This expected emergency ordinance almost begs those sentenced to challenge the sentences. Essentially, the motivation for this ordinance reveals its political aim, as no court has ruled that the protocols were illegal and because nobody has ruled that the sentences were issued based on the protocols,” Predoiu said.

Former Justice Minister, Raluca Pruna: The protocols should be ruled as illegal by a court of law, not by emergency ordinance

Former Justice Minister in the Dacian Ciolos cabinet, raluca Pruna, says the protocols should be declared illegal by a decision in court, not by emergency ordinance.

“The criminal procedure norms, even favourable, are not retroactive. A sentence issued and based on evidence which was legal at the time, it is legal evidence, it can’t be overturned afterwards. (…) The protocols should be declared illegal by a court of law, not by an emergency ordinance,” Raluca Pruna wrote on her Facebook page.

 

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