Nastase notifies CSM on Basescu’s statements ahead of ‘Zambaccian’ ruling

Adrian Nastase notified on Monday the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) in connection with a statement made by President Traian Basescu on the same morning the court ruled in the ‘Zambaccian’ case. The news was posted on the former Prime Minister’s blog.
The former Prime Minister has requested CSM to notify the Judicial Inspectorate that “on the morning of January 6, 2014, at a TV show broadcast by B1TV from 11.00 a.m. to 12 a.m., the President of Romania, Traian Basescu, said ‘Nastase has managed to create a system centered on clientele that has been and remains very difficult to dislodge.’ Coincidentally or not, at 4.30 p.m., the five-judge penal panel of the High Court of Cassation and Justice ruled in case no. 1919/1/2013, adding a conviction for the same corruption charges I was acquitted for, as pursuant to penal decision no. 474 of March 30, 2012 ruled by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Criminal Law Division, in case no. 3862/2010,” Nastase says. He claims that by issuing a statement in connection with an ongoing case, the President “influenced the independence of the justice system.”
Adrian Nastase created an analogy with the effect Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s statements, by which he characterized George Becali and Relu Fenechiu as essentially “good men,” had on the Superior Council of Magistracy, which magistrates may have interpreted as an attempt at influencing judges. “Likewise, given that the Romanian President essentially said I was ‘a bad person’ before the ruling was issued, his statement evidently influenced the independence of the justice system,” Nastase mentioned in his notification. CSM issued a response to Adrian Nastase yesterday, saying the petition has been registered and the Judicial Inspectorate will most likely be notified.
Frunda: Ponta is entitled to criticize the justice system
Gyorgy Frunda, honorary counselor to the Prime Minister, claims Victor Ponta “is as entitled to criticize the justice system” as every other European Prime Minister or President. He underlined he rejects the Judicial Inspectorate’s position with regard to the Prime Minister’s statements.
The Judicial Inspectorate’s report, presented Thursday in the CSM plenum, concluded that PM Victor Ponta’s statements on Adrian Nastase’s conviction and the celerity with which several criminal proceedings have been carried out have influenced justice independence and generated feelings of mistrust among citizens.
“Saying, ‘We, the justice system, are intangible, let no one criticize us because it will infringe upon our independence,’ can lead to an unacceptable situation where justice becomes the dominating power in a constitutional state. (…) Victor Ponta is as entitled to criticize the justice system as Orban Viktor, Prime Minister of Hungary, for example, who criticized the justice system in Budapest two weeks ago for accepting a complaint submitted by a banking group against a decision adopted by the Hungarian government, or President Hollande or former President Chirac, who more than once have taken a stance with respect to final decisions,” Frunda said yesterday on RFI.

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