CCR delays for the third time the ruling on the specialised judge panels

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The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has decided to postpone, for the third time, a decision on the complaint filed by SocDem MP Florin Iordache over a Parliament-High Court conflict on the corruption specialised judge panels.

The constitutional judges delayed their ruling for May 20, meaning the precise date when PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea might also know his final sentence in the fictitious hiring file.

Florin Iordache, also vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies, argues that the High Court of Cassation and Justice had denied to set up specialised judge panels for corruption cases, as Law 78/2000 stipulates.

In retort, the Supreme Court head, Cristina Tarcea said that Florin Iordache is not entitled to file this kind of complaint, and that this duty is falling only under the authority of the Chamber speaker, in this case, Liviu Dragnea. Tarcea argued that a previous CCR ruling says that the constitutional tasks cannot be delegated.

She also pointed out that 170 cases falling under the law 78 on preventing and sanctioning corruption deeds had been solved by the Supreme Court in the past 15 years.

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) delayed decision on this matter on April 10, after another previous postponement a day ago, on April 9.

Mass media reported that the decision would have been actually delayed amid huge pressures among CCR magistrates due to the political stake of the issue. Although CCR announced the delay is caused by judge Petre Lazaroiu’s medical problem, the real reason was the request filed by four of the nine CCR judges, among whom there was also Daniel Morar (former anti-corruption chief prosecutor before Kovesi), to postpone the debate as there was no time for the constitutional judges to study the arguments in this case.

PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea would have needed a favorable decision by CCR to get away with the conviction in first court in his fictitious hiring file, where he is facing a 3-year-and-a-half prison sentence. A new hearing in his case is due on April 15, and it is the last hearing when a final ruling is pronounced.

First vice-president of the Opposition party PNL, Raluca Turcan, has called on CCR on Thursday to suspend the trial procedure of Iordache’s referral, arguing Iordache’s petition is violating the Constitution. Turcan added that the CCR magistrates should not be intimidated “by the mafia-style fearful attacks of the criminal convicted Liviu Dragnea”.

More to follow…

 

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