The High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) has changed the members of the five-judge panels for 2018, through drawings on Friday after the Constitutional Court had recently ruled that there is a constitutional legal conflict between the Parliament and the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) on the issue of the establishment of the 5-judge panels.
The president of the Supreme Court, Cristina Tarcea has drawn lots for the new judges in the five-judge panels, thus changing also the membership of the panel that is judging the appeal in Dragnea’s fictitious hiring file, where the PSD chairman has been sentenced to 3 years and a half in prison for corruption. The High Court’s vice-president is no longer among the five judges in the panel.
Moreover, judicial sources told the media that the Supreme Court has received this morning a request filed by Liviu Dragnea to suspend the drawing lots sitting of Friday morning.
According to sources quoted by Realitatea.net, Dragnea is practically challenging the speed with which the CCR ruling had been enforced by the High Court.
There are two five-judge panels on criminal matters at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
The new members of the first criminal five-judge panel are judges Rodica Cosma, Valentin Horia Şelaru, Simona Cristina Neniţă, Francisca Maria Vasile and Ioana Alina Ilie. Substitute members are Tatiana Rog, Florentina Dragomir, Andrei Claudiu Rus, Luciana Mera and Săndel Macavei.
The members of the second panel are judges: Lavinia Lefterache, Ionuţ Matei, Aurel Gheorghe Ilie, Ioana Bogdan and Ştefan Pistol, while the substitute members are Oana Burnel, Rodica Aida Popa, Maricela Cobzariu, Leontina Şerban and Iulian Dragomir.
Both the first and second panel are chaired by the oldest judge among those drawn by lot.
The first five-judge panel will judge the appeals in the following cases: Liviu Dragnea-the file of the fictitious hiring in Teleorman, Sebastian Ghita in the file of the interference at the helm of the Prahova Police and Prosecutor’s Office, Victor Ponta-Turceni-Rovinari file and the case of the current Secretary General of the Gov’t, ex-constitutional judge Toni Grebla.
Realitatea.net says that Dragnea is not favored by this new five-judge panel, as one its members, Horia Selaru used to work with former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi at the National Anti-corruption Directorate, while another judge in the new panel was the one that Okayed the re-opening of the TelDrum file.
The second five-judge panel will judge the files involving Calin Popescu Tariceanu who is accused of perjury, the bribe-taking file targeting former Interior Minister Cristian David, as well as the corruption file against Sebastian Ghita and ex-mayor of Ploiesti, Iulian Badescu.
„I hope the epic of the five-judge panels will come to an end, although I am honestly doubting that,” said the supreme court head, Cristian Tarcea.