Senate vetoes bill on national body managing the seized assets

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The Senate vetoed the draft law setting up the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets on Tuesday. The draft got 66 votes in favor, 36 against and six abstentions. As it was an organic law, it needed 84 votes to pass.

Liberals explained they had vetoed the bill as their amendments tabled in the previous plenary sitting have been ignored. PNL senator Dumitru Oprea said it was the ruling Social Democrat Party that in fact “slammed their own bill”, arguing it was not presented in the Senate’s plenum for the first time and that PSD should have provided the necessary quorum for the plenary sitting.

Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc said few hours laters that the vote is against Romania’s interests.

In retort, PM Ponta said the law will also be debated by the Chamber of Deputies, expressing hope the ruling coalition would mobilize MPs better so that the bill could pass.

The government adopted the draft law on the establishment of the National Agency for the Management of seized assets in May. The body was supposed to operate as a national public institution under the Ministry of Justice.

The Agency will facilitate the tracing and identification of goods originating from crimes and which could be the object of a freezing, sequester or confiscation issued by a competent judicial authority in the course of criminal proceedings, will manage in some cases movable property seized in criminal proceedings, will harness the seized movables, will manage the integrated national information system of tracking debts arising from crimes.

The new agency will manage and keep track of the money subject to sequester, the amounts resulted from the capitalization of perishable goods, the amounts of money resulting from the special cases of recovery of seized movable goods and the money owed to the suspect, the defendant or to the person responsible, subject to garnishment.

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