The Presidents of the Senate and respectively the Chamber of Deputy met on Wednesday afternoon at the Senate with the US charge d’affaires, with the Ambassadors of UK and Holland and with the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy. The meeting took place at Dean Thompson’s request.
The National Anti-Corruption Directorate and institutions in this field have a major, “key” role in Romania, British Ambassador Paul Brummell (photo) declared, after meeting the leaders of Senate and Chamber of Deputies, pointing out that the diplomats wanted to make sure that the Parliament is fully aware of this importance.
British Ambassador: We want to make sure that the Parliament acknowledges the importance of struggle against corruption
“We had a very productive, highly fruitful meeting. We wanted to thank both Mr. Tariceanu and Mr. Zgonea for the opportunity to have this meeting and we emphasised the importance of the role played by the Parliament, we outlined the importance of the independence and sovereignty of the Parliament. We also discussed this period, of major importance for Romania, we emphasised and supported the role of DNA and of anti-corruption institutions in Romania, which play a highly important role, a key role in this country”, UK Ambassador Paul Brummell declared, after the meeting with Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Chamber of Deputies President Valeriu Zgonea.
According to Mediafax, Brummell mentioned that it is not a task of diplomats to “suggest laws”, but they merely wanted to make sure that the importance of the struggle against corruption is fully understood by the Parliament.
“We want to make sure that the discussions related to the Constitutional state in the Parliament are discussions that acknowledge the importance of the fight against corruption for Romania’s development and the prosperity of the Romanian nation”, the British Ambassador declared.
The meeting that took place at the Senate was organized at the demand of US Charge d’affaires Dean Thompson, and was attended by Paul Brummell, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Matthijs van Bonzel, the Ambassador of the Netherlands and Achim Troster, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy.
Initially, Dean Thompson has requested that the meeting be organized at the residence of the US Ambassador to Bucharest and be attended as well by PNL co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga.
The meeting lasted approximately two hours. After discussions ended, Tariceanu made declarations and the diplomats waited in the Dimitrie Cantemir Salon. The four diplomats exited together to make declarations, but the only one to speak was the British Ambassador.
Tariceanu: “We mentioned to diplomatic officials that the constitutional state does not mean empowering the repressive institutions of the state”.
Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu declared that discussions focused on matters of bilateral interest, as the strategic partnership of Romania and the involved countries.
“The members of the diplomatic corps are granted the right to demand meetings with the officials of the Romanian state and to gain a different perspective than the one circulated publicly”, the Head of the Senate declared.
“They wanted us to tell them matters related to the changes in Justice laws. We had this open and friendly conversation, as I attempted to present them the facts of wider concern by the public opinion in Romania. I explained to diplomatic officials that the constitutional state does not mean the empowering of the repressive institutions of the state, that it means strong institutions able to defend the rights and liberties of citizens in front of the abuses some might commit against citizens in general. I am not talking about particular cases or particular categories, about members of the Parliament or Ministers, I am talking about all citizens, because all of us are equal in front of the law”, Calin Popescu Tariceanu declared at the end of the discussions.
“We talked about the fact that I, at least, and not only me, have noticed concerns related to how various stages of criminal inquiries fo on. These concerns are not only mine; they were also expressed by Romania’s president, by the former president, by members of CSM and representatives of civil society. We continuously see this terrible show of handcuffs. We witness this constant media circus, as people are carried on various locations wearing handcuffs, which is a violation of the presumption of innocence and also creates a sensation that the Court has moved to the streets. People are actually deprived of any possibility to defend themselves directly and to have a balance in front of the judge. When they finally arrive there, they have been already accused and convicted. In a constitutional state, these things are supposed to worry us seriously and I shared these things to the persons I had had this discussion with”, Tariceanu declared.
“We have signals – and they are worrying – that the files of the accused are accompanied by the intelligence services until the Court, and it is completely unacceptable, in my opinion. We see an intrusion and a pressure that might act in a very subtle manner upon people entitled to grant justice. I do not think that these things should remain unnoticed and uncorrected”, the Head of the Senate declared.
Traian Basescu: Discussions with Embassies should be completed discretely, without the sensation that they are invading the Parliament
Ex-President Traian Basescu talked about the Wednesday meeting of the US Charge d’affaires to Bucharest, the Ambassadors of the UK, Holland and Germany and the Heads of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. The former Head of the State has a firm point of view that might be surprising for many people: it is a mistake to rebuke the Parliament in such an obvious manner.
Asked whom he had in mind when he had declared, at the end of April, that there are a few leaders of Justice who think that the Embassy of the United States, the Embassy of Holland or other embassies would grant them one more term, Traian Basescu replied that he had referred to the present leaders of justice.
“And, you know, it was proved quite fast. When I saw the Charge d’affaires of the US Embassy going to the Parliament without any hesitation and pointing out that it was an intervention for preventing the changes in the Criminal Procedure Code, I actually said: Something is wrong here. And not because such discussions are not supposed to happen, but because they were made so ostentatiously. I mean that the Charge d’affaires of the United States actually invaded the Head of one of the Chambers of the Parliament and outspokenly demanded something. These discussions usually occur. Or they may occur. But, usually, they occur discretely, without creating the impression that an Embassy is overtaking the Parliament. I think that they made a mistake here”, the former Head of the State declared for psnews.ro.