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August 13, 2022

CSM: Statements of Iliescu, Ponta, Antonescu interfere with the independence of justice

The statements about the investigations of prosecutors made by the three politicians in August allegedly damage the independence, prestige and credibility of justice.

The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) considers that the statements made by Ion Iliescu, Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu on August 15 about potential abuses committed by prosecutors in their investigations damaged the independence, prestige and credibility of justice, with the consequence of undermining its authority, Mediafax reports.CSM decided Tuesday to admit the request of defending the independence of the judiciary system, after the media reflected the statements of some politicians about the investigations conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) on how the referendum was organised and conducted.In its Tuesday meeting, CSM analysed the results of verifications made by the Judiciary Inspection regarding the defence of the independence of the judiciary system, after several TV stations, the written and online media in Romania and abroad presented some statements made by the honorary president of the Social-Democratic Party, Ion Iliescu, the interim president (July 10 – August 27 2012) of Romania, Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta, prime minister of Romania, about alleged abuses in the probes conducted by PICCJ into how the July 29 referendum was organised and conducted.On August 16, the leadership of CSM asked the Judiciary Inspection to make all due verifications in view of establishing if there were interferences with the independence of justice, with the consequence of undermining its authority and that of the judiciary system, considering that the public statements of the aforementioned public personalities are capable of putting pressure with a potential of intimidating and lowering the credibility of justice institutions and of Romanian prosecutors.The leaders of CSM appreciated that the public messages of the three important representatives of Romanian politics directly and unequivocally promote the idea that justice is politically obedient and controlled, as the aforementioned aspects question the independence of magistrates and of the judiciary system as a whole, hinting that justice does not correspond to European standards and answers political commands.According to CSM, the statements of the three leaders created the public impression referring to the fact that the purpose of criminal prosecution bodies is to verify how citizens participated in the referendum and how they voted, rather than probing possible frauds committed in relation to the electoral process by infringing the mandatory framework that regulates how the referendum is organised and conducted.

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