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Country courts continue the process for the dismissal of some of the members of the Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) starting less than a week ago. AMR says Cristi Danilet’s status on the Council is unclear. Recently elected CSM president is not considering resignation as judges urge her to do.
The general assemblies of the Courts of Appeal of Galati, Cluj, Oradea and Pitesti voted earlier this week for dismissing from CSM judge Alina Ghica, former CSM President, who now runs for vice president. In the case of Galati Court of Appeal, the decision to support Ghica’s dismissal (she represents the courts of appeal on CSM – a/n) was made with 29 votes in favour, an abstention and one vote was annulled. Thirty-six of the 40 Galati appeal judges were present during the meeting on Monday. In Craiova, 83 judges were present and the decision to support Ghica’s dismissal was made with absolute majority – 75 votes in favour, six against, an abstention and a null vote. In what regards the other candidate for CSM vice president, Judge Cristi Danilet (photo), the Association of Magistrates in Romania (AMR) says his status is unclear in the Council with respect to the representation of local court judges starting from February 23, 2011, when he resigned as Vice President of Oradea Court. ‘Judge Vasilica-Cristi Danilet is a tribunal rank judge transferred from Cluj Tribunal to Oradea Court from where he resigned and where, on his own request, his post was declared vacant and later on filled by someone else, according to the decision of the CSM- Department for Judges,’ reads an AMR press release quoted by luju.ro. According to the quoted source, AMR representatives asked the CSM President at the time, Horatiu Dumbrava, to clarify the situation of representation of county court judges on the Council, after Danilet had resigned as Vice President of Oradea Court before his term expired and asked that his position as a judge at Oradea Court be vacated permanently, and Dumbrava ‘obstinately’ refused to put the subject on the agenda of the CSM meetings. ‘The CSM President at that time, judge Horatiu Dumbrava, refused to put on the agenda AMR’s request that was also endorsed by other members of the department for judges. Effective as of February 15, 2011, Judge Vasilica-Cristi Danilet is a tribunal judge,’ the source further notes. Mediafax quotes magistracy sources as saying that, by Monday, a total of 60 local courts were supporting Danilet’s dismissal as a CSM member. Danilet’s dismissal requires the vote of 89 out of the 176 local courts in the country.
Resignation not an option, Haineala says
Prosecutor Oana Schmidt Haineala refuses to let go of her newly acquired position as President of CSM, saying she has absolutely no reason to resign, in contradiction with what demand most of the members of the CSM department for judges. ‘I do not intend to resign. I am calling on my fellow members of the department for judges to be aware of their role on the Council (…), which is to make decisions for the judicial system, (…) attend plenary and department meetings and deal with current justice matters,’ Mediafax quotes Haineala as saying. On the fact that seven out of the eight judges of the CSM department of judges had expressed themselves against the procedure for appointing her as head of the Council, she offered a dry answer, saying that decisions are equally made in the joint meeting and by each of the two departments. ‘(…) My appeal to my colleagues who are judges and members of the department for judges is to be aware of the responsibilities that come with the membership of the Council and which I have just named,’ she also said. According to prosecutor Haineala, her mandate as head of CSM is perfectly legal and democratic, one that has been entrusted to her by the plenary meeting of CSM, and ‘there is no reason to give in to such pressure (a hint at the demand of the CSM department for judges – a/n).’
Cristian Preda asks EC to defend judiciary from Ponta PDL
MEP Cristian Preda asked the European Commission during the European Parliament session Monday evening to monitor PM Victor Ponta’s ‘unacceptable derailment’ relative to the independence of the judiciary. ‘As far as Ponta is concerned, if you control 60 per cent of the Parliament, you also have to control Justice. I am asking the European Commission to watch this unacceptable derailment, where the separation of the executive from the judicial power is defined in the name of the people’s will,’ Preda said. He referred to the fact that Ponta had criticised the decision of the Court convicting PC leader Dan Voiculescu and that he had ‘told off’ CSM member Cristi Danilet. PSD Vice President Corina Cretu responds that Preda’s attack in the EP is just ‘a follow-up on the PDL campaign for the denigration of Romania in the European Union,’ and urges him ‘to apologise to the European Parliament for the lies purposely told about PM Victor Ponta.’