POLITICS

DNA at war with Senate: Prosecutors ask again for documents in Sova case and warn that refusal is an offence, Tariceanu announces all requested materials will be sent in due time

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) has made a new request to the Speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, asking to have, in the shortest time possible, all paperwork prepared in the case of Senator Dan Sova and noting that the refusal to do so was a justice obstruction offence, Mediafax reports.

With the new request made to the Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the National Anticorruption Directorate wants to receive all the documents prepared by the Senate following the DNA request of 13 March for the approval of the detention and preventive arrest of Senator Dan Sova, charged on three counts of complicity in abuse of office.

DNA wants all documents prepared by the Senate in 2014 and 2015 as a result of DNA’s requests for the investigation, detention and preventive arrest of serving senators.

DNA wants the documents ‘in the shortest time possible, but no later than 22 April’.

‘The refusal to make available to DNA the aforementioned documents is the criminal offence of obstructing justice stipulated at Section 271 paragraph 1), letter b) in the Criminal Code’, the document sent to the Senate states.

‘The request for handing over documents made to the speaker of the Senate by the DNA prosecutors was made under Section 170 paragraph 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which <in case there is reasonable doubt on the preparation or commission of a criminal offence and there is ground to believe that an item or document could serve as evidence in the case, the criminal investigation body or the court of law may order the individual or legal entity in whose possession they are to hand them over, in exchange for a document proving the receipt of evidence’, DNA said in a release on Monday.

In their new request, DNA note that two similar requests were sent by prosecutors to the head of the Senate on 9 April 2015 and on 14 April 2015, but no answer has been received.

‘We emphasize that the assertions made in the public space that the previously mentioned requests should have been sent to the Senate by DNA through the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice and the Ministry of Justice are erroneous, because, being a special procedure, it only applies to the requests for approving the detention/arrest (of members of Parliament) or criminal investigation (of ministers and ex-ministers who are also members of Parliament). Or, in this situation, the DNA prosecutors is asking the Senate for documents needed for the case, which means that regular legal provisions apply, the same that would apply if a criminal investigation body was asking an institution for documents that could serve as evidence’, DNA further notes.

The new DNA letter dated 16 April will be debated on by the Standing Bureau of the Senate.

The National Anticorruption Directorate also asked the speaker of the Senate, on 14 April, through two distinct letters, for all documents prepared by the Chamber regarding the criminal investigation, detention and preventive arrest of serving senators, from 2014 to 2015, as well as for the documents in the Dan Sova case.

Senate Deputy Speaker Ioan Chelaru said on 15 April that the letters received from ‘a DNA prosecutor’, asking for the documents in the Sova case broke the procedural rules, but admitted to that being ‘a formal matter’ and that the Standing Bureau would discuss the matter in order to refer them to the Legal Committee.

Chelaru explained that the violation of procedure by DNA referred to the fact that such correspondence should have been carried out through the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Justice.

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu also said the decision was to notify the minister of justice about the violation of procedural rules in the case of DNA’s requests to the Senate for making available all documents in the Sova case, but that, as far as the substance of the matter was concerned, there were no reservations in that respect.

He pointed out that, based on an analysis of the Senate leaders, the conclusion was that DNA’s request did not comply with the procedural rules on inter-institutional relations between the Senate and Justice, as they were signed by the DNA prosecutor and not by the Ministry of Justice.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court published the motivation of the decision on the legal conflict of a constitutional nature between PIICJ and the Senate, showing that the Chamber of Parliament must write a decision in the matter of DNA’s request to arrest Dan Sova because, otherwise the procedure is not finalised because it cannot be published in the Official Journal.

The Constitutional Court judges said that, under the law, on the request for the detention, arrest or search of a member of Parliament, the Parliament must debate and issue a decision to be communicated to the minister of justice and published in the Official Journal.

The Speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said on Wednesday, when the MPs were back from their Easter break, that the Senate would issue a decision in the matter of the vote on the remand in custody of Dan Sova only after the motivation of Constitutional Court ruling has been published in the Official Journal.

‘Before the written motivation of the Constitutional Court appears and is published in the Official Journal, we cannot say we are in the official, inter-institutional communication phase, to be able to have a position and a response’, Tariceanu said, answering a question about when the Senate would write its decision in the matter of the vote on the remand of Dan Sova, in the light of the Constitutional Court ruling.

 

Tariceanu after DNA ultimatum: Senate to send requested documents by April 22

 

The Senate has promptly answered the DNA’s request on making available all documents concerning Senators that are targeted by criminal probes. Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Monday that the Senate will send to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) all documents requested by prosecutors, by April 22 as demanded by anticorruption prosecutors.

The Senate’s leadership decided to place at the DNA’s disposal all documents requested in the Dan Sova case.

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced that the Permanent Bureau will ask the institution’s Secretary General to send to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), by April 22, all documents related to the DNA requests to approve the prosecution, detainment and preventive arrest of Senators in 2014-2015 and those concerning Dan Sova.

“The Permanent Bureau asked the Senate’s Secretary General to send all requested documents by April 22,” Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated several hours after the DNA requested the documents by April 22 at the latest and warned that a possible refusal would represent obstruction of justice.

“Ever since last week when we received that request we decided to notify the Juridical Commission that would come up with the entire list of documents, with all materials requested. We also wrote a response letter to the Justice Minister, in which we said that the Senate in principle agrees with handing over these documents. They are all public documents, so they can be found on the Senate’s website, but today the Permanent Bureau unanimously decided to ask the Secretary General and the Senate to send all these documents by April 22 and to continue to be in institutional correspondence with the Prosecutor’s Office and to inform the Permanent Bureau about possible requests that will appear in this case,” Tariceanu pointed out.

Asked what changed compared to a week ago, when the same Tariceanu said that he would answer the DNA’s requests only after they will be made “correctly procedurally-wise,” namely through the Justice Ministry, the Senate Speaker said that back then he also “in principle agreed with placing at their disposal all documents requested.”

 

 

 

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