According to the conclusions of the Judicial Inspection’s report presented yesterday within the plenum of the
Superior Magistracy Council, the Premier’s statements on the sentencing of Adrian Nastase affect the independence of the judiciary and induce a feeling of distrust. PM Ponta: I’m “convinced” the judiciary is independent.
Moreover, he pointed out that the existence of a conflict between the political establishment and the judiciary is out of the question, a different understanding of certain issues being at the heart of this, and that is why he wants the establishment of a code of conduct for politicians in relation to the judiciary.
On the other hand, the CSM decided yesterday not to notify the IJ about the statements made by Infrastructure Projects Minister Dan Sova on the sentencing of Nastase, choosing instead to annex them to the report on the statements made by Ponta. CSM announced that it will do the same in what concerns statements made by PSD Spokesperson Catalin Ivan. The proposal to analyze the possibility of notifying the IJ in Sova’s case was made by judge Horatiu Dumbrava, a member of CSM. Sova had stated on Tuesday evening, on Digi 24, that he fully agrees with the Prime Minister’s statement according to which the sentencing of Nastase was political in nature. Politicians make statements seeking to discredit the judiciary, Stanciu says.
Judge Livia Stanciu, the President of the High Court of Justice (ICCJ), considers that it is “extremely serious” that politicians holding official positions in the state are making statements that seek to discredit the judiciary and that the Premier has induced the idea that the speed with which court cases are solved differs in relation to the defendants’ party membership. Stanciu expressed her dissatisfaction with the fact that the politicians’ attacks on the judiciary have become increasingly frequent, especially those on the High Court and the judges that handle criminal cases that concern politicians. “I believe you have noticed that we have always behaved decently, did not come out after every attack launched by the politicians. We thought that, nevertheless, these attacks on the judiciary will diminish, but I notice that they have unjustifiably grown in frequency lately,” Stanciu added.
She also pointed out that the fact that the modification of the notion of civil servant was sought is very serious and the fact that the Constitutional Court (CC) completely endorsed the High Court’s explanation proves once again that notifying the CC was “a correct, legal initiative.”
Ponta, sarcastically: I am “convinced” the judiciary is independent and cannot be influenced
Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated yesterday during a press conference at the government headquarters that he is “convinced” the judiciary is independent and he emphasized the fact that “nothing happens even if one holds the keys of the judiciary,” the judiciary remaining independent.
The Premier stated, shortly after Nastase was sentenced to four years in jail in the Zambaccian case, that the former Premier “is politically sentenced and a victim of the Basescu regime, given the fact that President Traian Basescu has instituted since 2005, through his main collaborators Monica Macovei and Daniel Morar, a system geared against political opponents, including through the use of criminal cases.” He pointed out on Romania TV that the sentencing of Nastase, which was Basescu’s main goal since 2005, represents an act of injustice and reiterated that the Prosecutor’s Office has given no answer to the government’s notices on illegalities committed by former government officials. At the same time, Ponta compared Adrian Nastase’s situation to that of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The PSD President is backed by his party colleagues, PSD Spokesperson Catalin Ivan stating that the Social-Democrats will maintain their position on the sentencing of Adrian Nastase, being of the opinion that he was tried incorrectly and on political grounds. Asked whether he will advise the Premier to retract previous statements, the PSD Spokesperson emphasized that “the PSD President said what 99.9 per cent of PSD members and others think. It’s a statement assumed not only by Victor Ponta but by the whole party,” Ivan stated. He pointed out that “Traian Basescu is the one that has discredited the judiciary during the nine years in which he has tried to control it.”
Romanian Attorney General Tiberiu Nitu came to Ponta’s defense too, stating that he does not feel affected or threatened by the Premier’s statements about the sentencing of Nastase. Nitu labeled the Head of Government’s statements as being part of a political discourse.
A piece of news surfaced yesterday claiming that Victor Ponta is allegedly investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in a case concerning the signing of illegal contracts with SC Complexul Energetic Turceni (Turceni Energy Center) in 2007-2011. The information was included in the Judicial Inspection report quoted by HotNews.ro shows. “How could I not have a case at the DNA. A case is never bad. I wouldn’t be a politician if I didn’t have one,” Ponta replied. DNA denied last night that Premier Ponta is criminally investigated.