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June 23, 2021

CSM has mixed opinions on criminal codes ammendments

General idea was that codes have room for improvement and possible amendments can be performed as they are enforced.

The Supreme Council of Magistracy (CMS) met on Thursday in plenum session to talk about the amendments to the new Penal Code, in effect since February 1, and the amendments on the judges’ authority in the process of Constitution revision. General Prosecutor Tiberiu Nitu and President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice Livia Stanciu participated in the meeting.
President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice Livia Stanciu said, upon her arrival at CSM, that the institution she leads sent to the Ministry of Justice the proposals of amending the new penal code a long time ago, and that the amendments could have been operated by February 1 by law or the enforcement could have been postponed several months until the problems were solved. Besides, Stanciu believes there is a problem with the article regarding phone tapping, and as a proof it is still included in a draft for the amendment and completion of the Criminal Procedure Code, passed on Wednesday by the Government. “You noticed a line 14 is included at article 138 in the draft law regarding the surveillance measures and it sends to the provisions of article 305 line 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, regarding the starting of criminal investigation. Therefore there is a problem, and we will see how the Parliament will solve it,” she said, quoted by Mediafax.
In opposition, General Prosecutor of Romania said the current Criminal Procedure Code does not forbid phone tapping and that this is used nationally, adding that there are several inadvertencies in the new code, which the magistrates want to be cleared as soon as possible. “As for phone tapping, there are no problems at the moment from my viewpoint, they can be solved. As for clarifications, that is another matter,” said Nitu, explaining that the amendments to the article regarding phone tapping were made “to make clarifications, not that because what we have now cannot be put into practice.” “Between impracticable and unclear or interpretable is a major difference. The system can work, the current rules can be employed if they are interpreted constructively, to create legal effects,” said the general prosecutor of Romania.
At the end of the meeting, Nitu concluded that, although the public said the new Penal Code is a “criminals’ haven,” it is “much tougher” than the previous, even if the punishments are smaller, saying that the new codes come with European strategies, adding that instruments and measures will be found to reach the purpose of a punishment regarding a deed included in the penal law.
As for CSM president Adrian Bordea, he commented upon the flaws in the new Criminal Procedure Code. Regarding the house arrest and the lack of ankle bracelets, he said that all state institutions should have taken the necessary measures regarding the technical means but, despite lacking the infrastructure, the code must be applied. A magistrate of Buftea Court issued two sentences on Wednesday, in accordance with the two new codes, for house arrest in the case of two people under trial for blackmail and another for concealment, the latter being the son of fortune-teller “Mama Omida.” Lawyer Gheorghita Mateut said yesterday that, in the absence of monitoring equipment, the policemen took alternative measures, such as direct guarding or check-ups.
CSM members were not invited to talks regarding Constitution
As for the draft law of Constitution revision, the CSM members complained during yesterday session that they were not invited at the Parliament commission meeting. “We were not invited. That is why we included this matter on our agenda. President Adrian Bordea issued a request yesterday (Thursday, editor’s note) to Senate President who is also president of the revision commission” added CSM vice-president Gheorghe Muscalu. Regarding the same issue, president of the supreme court Livia Stanciu said that she has not received yet an official document regarding the amendments brought on Tuesday by the Constitution revision commission and she cannot issue any statement until she has this official document.
Nobody nominated in Apuseni case
General Prosecutor of Romania Tiberiu Nitu said on Thursday that the investigation regarding the aircraft crash in Apuseni includes several positions which draw the competence of the Prosecutor’ Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and ministers are possible to be targeted. As for STS leader, he said nobody is nominated, adding that the investigators will check those aspects related to a possible responsibility of other individuals.

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