The plenary sitting of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) examined on Wednesday the answers received from the judiciary institutions regarding the protocols concluded with the intelligence bodies.
The council agreed to send the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) a request to explain the resolution of 2005 that underlie the protocols. CSM also asked to see the protocol concluded between SRI and PNA (the former title of the National Anti-corruption Directorate) in 2003, but also a point of view of the Justice Ministry on the SRI-Public Ministry protocol.
CSM will ask the Prosecutor’s Office upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice if its protocol concluded with SRI in 2009 (which had been declassified) has been formally denounced and through which document.
CSM vice-president Codrut Olaru had revealed at the beginning of the sitting that the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court), the Judicial Inspection, the Superior Council of Magistracy and the General Prosecution’s Office have concluded protocols with the intelligence services, while the other judiciary bodies had no such protocols.
“Such a protocol has been concluded at CSM, which has been denounced by the former leadership of the council in 2017. All the other judiciary bodies, other courts, had no such protocols,” said Olaru.
At the same time, he stated that the Judicial Inspection had announced that they had started the procedure of declassifying the protocol inked with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
Victor Alistar and Gabriela Baltag, CSM members, have asked for the declassification of the protocols, arguing they are not entitled to see classified documents. Baltag also asked for the delay of the debates until all CSM members are able to study these protocols.
In his turn, Romania’s Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar, has asked for an adjournment, arguing he cannot attend the sitting.
Yet, later on in the day, the Judicial Inspection retorted, saying that no protocol with any intelligence service has been in force starting 2017.
“Contrary to the information in the speech of the CSM vice-president, prosecutor Codrut Olaru, starting 2017, the Judicial Inspection has had no protocol in force with any intelligence service. Since the date of its establishment in 2012, the Judicial Inspection has carried out its activity exclusively by the law,” reads a press release by the Judicial Inspection.
A CSM judge, Evelina Oprina, told TVR on Wednesday evening that the Council had formally analysed the protocol between SRI and the Public Ministry and found out that there are some excerpts in the document that might cause vulnerabilities to the judiciary system’s independence. She said that she could never understand these kind of agreements among the state institutions, particularly that they were ‘secret’.
“It seems that by the way this protocol has been enforced, the independence of the judiciary system might have been harmed in a way,” Oprina argued.
On Tuesday, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, has explained the need and the context in which the protocols with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) for recordings in the files were signed.