Former CCR President Zegrean on Dragnea’s court case: A scared judge is worse than a corrupt judge

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Former Constitutional Court President Augustin Zegrean argues the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, to postpone the sentence on Liviu Dragnea’s file until May 20, is a disqualifying decision for the judiciary in Romania, adding that ‘a scared judge is worse than a corrupt judge’. He believes it is a swap of responsibility between the Constitutional Court (CCR) and the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court).

Zegrean believes CCR and ICCJ swap responsibility from one another, avoiding assuming a decision, although the lawsuit is clear. Furthermore, he wonders what role should the 5-judge panels play and if we are witnessing positive discrimination for the defenders, the dignitaries, informs.

“The Constitutional Court has postponed the ruling in order to find out what the decision of the Supreme Court will be, whereas the Supreme Court said ‘we are going to fool you, let’s see what you decide’. In this lawsuit things are pretty clear, but each one wants the other one to say they are unclear, to avoid a decision. This is below the level where things should be. It’s not right that 5 judges make such a decision. Well, then why do we need the 5-judge panels? All ministers and lawmakers, all dignitaries should be tried by the ordinary courts, otherwise it is positive discrimination in their favour. They face 3-judge panels and then the 5-judge panels, while ordinary people face one judge in first court and two judges for the appeal. Why should they benefit from 5-judge panels, just to turn things around?” Zegrean wonders.

The former CCR President says the decision on Monday is disqualifying for the 5-judge panels and for the judiciary.

“The judges should not be afraid. They have all procedural and legal guarantees not to be afraid and yet they are afraid. It is scaring, because a scared judge is worse than a corrupt judge,” Zegrean further said.

His scenario is that CCR will rule that the 3-judge panels have been unlawfully established and then the ICCJ will sent the file for retrial to the 3-judge panels. Meanwhile, until the lawsuit is resumed, the deeds will be prescribed.

“There was no reason for postponement by CCR or by ICCJ. They don’t want to make a decision, obviously, none of them wants to assume responsibility,” the former CCR President added.

The ICCJ postponed a decision on May 20, whereas the CCR is expected to make a decision on the 3-judge panels on April 19.

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