PSD won’t disband the special section for investigating magistrates as GRECO urged

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Although Justice minister Ana Birchall has been more reluctant in criticising the GRECO reports and has given no information about the steps to be taken regarding the special section for investigating magistrates, other leaders of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) has slammed the reports.

If before the release of the reports Birchall said that “when you are member of a club, you need to follow its rules“, after the publication, the Justice minister stated that the ministry will make an analysis on the report, recommending each institution targeted by GRECO to do the same.

Birchall said that her ministry had proved transparency and released the reports in less than two weeks since it had received them.

“I am glad that one of the ministry major goal confined in the report has been joining GRECO as observer. This goal has been achieved. As for the other recommendations, we’ll do our own analysis, as each institution mentioned in the report must do its own analysis and to take the necessary measures”, Birchall said.

On the other hand, the vice-president of the Chamber of Speaker, Florin Iordache, the minister of Justice who initiated the famous controversial GEO 13 that prompted wide mass protests in Romania in 2017, has criticised Birchall and announced PSD and the Government would not disband the special section for investigating magistrates.

“I don’t agree (to Birchall’s statement <when you are member of a club, you need to follow its rules>). France, Germany and UK are also part of this club. And they have several recommendations they had not implemented yet and that they don’t intend to transpose in their national legislation. As long as we are an independent country, as long as we have a Parliament democratically elected, the parliament is the only one that can amend the laws. We can function in this club very will with a strengthened special section, which provides a certain safety and real independence to the judiciary,” Florin Iordache told Europa Libera.

He claimed that the European officials have only one problem with the special section, but without seeing „the big problems in the Justice”, such as „the secret protocols” or the illegally set judge panels.

“We don’t intend to disband the Special Section. Why this section was good when it was under DNA’s authority? This section must work better and faster the way it is, we can only help the section to operate better”, Iordache said, adding that the only recommendation that PSD will consider is related to the conduct of the lawmakers, for instance, the implementation of the Conduct Code in the Senate.

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