The Social-Democratic Party (PSD) is to submit a simple motion against Justice Minister Raluca Pruna on Monday, party leader Liviu Dragnea has announced.
According to Dragnea, the motion is titled ‘Lies can kill too’ and could be debated and voted upon on Tuesday.
“The simple motion is to be submitted today to the Chamber of Deputies. The text of the motion has been already edited and there are chances that on Tuesday it is voted by the plenum. The minister’s public statements are very serious. This is why we carry on this political step, but I don’t believe the PM will take it into account. Mrs. Minister has thus the chance to come to parliament to explain what she actually wanted to say,” Dragnea said on Monday in the Senate.
The PSD intention was announced on Sunday evening by Dragnea, who commented for a TV station that “it is very serious that a member of the government claims to have told lies to the ECHR judges.”
Last Thursday Justice Minister Raluca Pruna claimed, during a Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) sitting, she had lied to the ECHR of having a budget for seven penitentiaries of EUR 150 million each, the money not being included in the budget, but only on paper.
Pruna: “You know, judge, I went and I lied to the ECHR – and I admit I lied to ECHR – I believed that if I have a paper signed by officials of the Romanian state… So, I lied there that we have a budget for seven penitentiaries of EUR 150 million each, so almost EUR 1 billion, but everything was all just good intentions; actually we did not have the money in the budget.”
Justice Ministry offers explanations
The Justice Ministry has issued on Monday a release to explain the minister’s statements.
According to the source, the statement was made within the context of lack of investments for the courts, the need for investments and the need of multi-annual schedule. The comparison with the penitentiaries and the funds allotted was a way to underline the challenges faced by the entire judicial system, the ministry says.
“Wishing to avoid unrealistic figures, which may only mislead the ECHR partners, we stopped a memorandum completed for the government sitting on January 18, 2016 and included unrealistic proposals; in turn, we included in the memorandum (memorandum I) the obligation for the ECHR and of the cooperating institutions (including the Ministry of Justice) to submit a new realistic estimation and a budget (memorandum II); the latter was approved by the government on April 27, 2016 and aims at the building of two penitentiaries until 2021, as well as the acquisition of two sites for redevelopment (until 2023),” the release reads.