Emergency ordinance to counter tapping ban. How will prosecutors use wiretapping in their investigations?

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Update: PM Dacian Cioloș said that the emergency ordinance on wiretapping represents “a play it by ear” situation, arguing that the priority is that the criminal prosecution investigations should not be interrupted. “It’s important to avoid a legislative void. After that, we’ll have time to see if there are other better solutions,” the premier stated on Friday.

 

The Government came up with a solution to counter the effects of the Constitutional Court decision to ban the Romanian Intelligence Service from conducting tapping in the criminal prosecution cases.

Justice Minister Raluca Prună stated in Thursday evening that an emergency ordinance had been drafted, allowing the Prosecutor’s Offices to used SRI’s infrastructure for wiretapping the defendants’ telephone conversations. The CSAT meeting of Friday is expected to give the okay on the emergency ordinance draft. After getting CSAT’s green light, the bill will be Okayed by the Government’s extraordinary session.

The Justice minister explained the loophole found to avoid the ban imposed by the Constitutional judges. The emergency ordinance practically stipulates that the it is the Romanian intelligence’s infrastructure that will be used in the investigations, and not the service’s staff.

What is the solution? Romania has no other tapping infrastructure than the one managed by the SRI, so that the Government’s solution is obviously an emergency ordinance that should allow the usage of the SRI’s infrastructure, while cutting out any human intervention of the Romanian Intelligence Service and with the exclusive involvement of the prosecutor and of the judiciary Police, meaning the involvement of the criminal prosecution bodies,” minister Prună explained.

The draft shows that the National Centre for Wiretapping, a body within SRI, is designated “to obtain, process and store security information at the request of the criminal prosecution bodies”.

“The concrete conditions of access to the technical systems of the judiciary bodies are settled through co-operation protocols,” the draft also notes.

The Justice minister also stated that DIICOT and DNA will need additional funds to enforce this emergency ordinance, but did not mention the necessary sums.

The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) also gave its green light for the emergency ordinance, yet making some observations, judiciary sources told Mediafax.

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