Proposals to amend the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code stir concern. US and UK embassies express unease

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US Charge d’Affaires in Bucharest, Dean Thompson, has held talks on Wednesday with the Chamber of Deputies Speaker Valeriu Zgonea (PSD) in his office, informs. The discussion was attended by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. The meeting was also attended by important leaders PSD – Liviu Dragnea, Mircea Dusa and Marian Neacsu, according to political sources.

According to parliamentary sources, the meeting was attended by some of the initiators of a draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, including Ciprian Nica, who meanwhile withdrew his signature from this project.

Allegedly the project would create new obstacles in fighting corruption and provides imprisonment for prosecutors in certain cases.

This is just the latest in a long line of legislative drafts initiated by MPs of the political power aiming at restricting the anti-corruption fight.

The British embassy too has expressed concern about the proposed changes. The British Embassy in Bucharest announced, in a posting on the Facebook page, that it is “watching closely and it took notice of concerns raised about the proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Criminal Code. As recommended by the European Commission’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report, the Parliament must support the institutions of the judiciary and the rule of law.”

Ten deputies, nine from the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and one from the minority’s group, have submitted to the Senate a draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code and to the Criminal Code that would leave prosecutors without a series of investigation instruments, making it difficult to get denunciations, make it more difficult for arrests and remand, reduces prescriptions and introduces a new offense: abuse of power by judicial bodies.

The project was registered to the Senate under the emergency procedure on April 2 and is still in the early stage of approval.

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