It is the largest number of defendants sued for such offences in the last 14 years, according to Tiberiu Nitu.
The General Prosecutor of Romania Tiberiu Nitu yesterday stated at a press conference on the Public Ministry’s report that around 1,200 persons were sued on corruption charges in 2013, 28 percent more than in the previous year. Referring to combatting minor corruption, the head of the Public Ministry (MP) said the number of indictments went up by 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, while the number of defendants went up by 15 percent compared to the previous year. “In this respect, 1.5 percent of defendants sued have been acquitted,” the prosecutor stated, as cited by Mediafax.
Regarding the combat against money laundering, “the insurance measure commissioned in cases tried by prosecution offices attached to courts of law and appeals courts, in which criminal investigations are carried out by investigation bodies of the judicial police, has increased significantly and doubled its value compared to 2012,” according to the cited report.
Over RON 1.9 billion seized in 2013
Other positive results have been reported in 2013 as well. Nitu said that assets worth RON 1.92 billion were seized last year, 5 percent more than in 2012. “In the area of recovering goods that were part of committed crimes, the best results were reported by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), which not only froze around 75 percent of the total value at Public Ministry level, but also attained the first final court decision on extended seizure,” he stated further. The court decision Nitu is referring to was made in June, 2013 in connection with a case involving a judicial police officer from the County Police Inspectorate (IPJ) of Constanta – Fraud Investigation Division, who was convicted to three years and ten months’ imprisonment for influence peddling. The court ordered that the seizure be extended to the two apartments purchased by the defendant through mortgage payments. “Considering that the damage inflicted by the defendants amounts to eight billion, mathematically speaking, the insurance measures account for one quarter,” Nitu explained, while pointing out the indicator shows that MP handled criminal investigations “much better,” although investigators failed to identify more assets which could be subject to seizure. However, he noted this was a result of criminals not registering assets under their own name.
Record number of criminal complaints against decisions not to initiate criminal proceedings
According to Tiberiu Nita, close to 18,000 complaints were filed in 2013 against prosecutors’ decisions not to initiate criminal proceedings. The figures account for 3 percent of the overall number of decisions made in this respect by Public Ministry units. “16,000 complaints were solved in court and 2,400 were approved. 15 percent of all solved complaints were complaints against decisions approved in court. This means 85 percent of the decisions not to initiate criminal proceedings that were subject to legal audit were deemed legal and justified,” the general prosecutor of Romania stated. Prosecutors in his department had to solve 1,826,000 criminal cases last year, 4 percent more than in 2012, he added.
According to Tiberiu Nita, the number of defendants sued in 2013 went up by 10 percent compared to the previous year, whereas the number of defendants deferred to justice under remand in custody went up by 4 percent. Over 50 percent of all defendants sued were implicated in cases involving offences against the person and patrimony. Furthermore, the head of MP said 853 defendants – accounting for 1.3 percent of all defendants sued – were acquitted last year, 12.5 percent less than in 2012. “This percentage is the highest since 2004,” Nitu concluded.