The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) has notified the Judicial Inspection on Wednesday about the recent action of the Speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and four Senators asked President Klaus Iohannis to dismiss or obtain the resignation of the heads of the High Court of Justice (ICCJ, Romania’s Supreme Court), Livia Stanciu and of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, on grounds of infringement of the fundamental rights and freedoms of a citizen.
“On May 21, the Bucharest Court of Appeals has definitively established the innocence of citizen Mariana Rarinca. The judges found that she had spent more than six months under arrest pending trial for an act she did not commit and for which there was never any proof. Mrs. Rarinca, a citizen with no influence or political connections, was unlawfully arrested in contempt of any constitutional guarantees, by the National Anticorruption Directorate headed by Laura Codruta Kovesi, following a slanderous denunciation filed by the President of the High Court Justice, Livia Stanciu,” reads the letter sent to the President on Tuesday and signed by Senators Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Daniel Barbu, Petru Ehegartner, Ioan Ghise and Nicolae Nasta.
The signatories of the letter asking for the dismissal of Kovesi and Stanciu also ask the President to request a disciplinary investigation from the Supreme Council of Magistracy (CMS), in order to determine whether the two magistrates are still professionally and morally fit to work within the Judiciary.
The Superior Council of Magistracy states in a press release that it ‘expresses its deep concern about the concerted actions of representatives of the Senate of Romania and of a part of the Romanian mass-media who tend to hurt the balance of powers in the state by undermining the authority of the judiciary and of the judicial system as a whole’.
‘The institutional and media exploitation of the final acquittal decision handed down by a court of law and the public stigmatisation of the president of ICJ as a person in this context, strictly considering her position and institutional rank, that used a fundamental right – the one to notify institutions empowered about a situation or possible criminal offences, could generate an impermissible mechanism of erosion of the citizens’ trust in the quality of the judicial system and force the constitutional boundaries of power.
In the same register of cause and effect there is the publicly asserted suggestion of complicity in dealing with the case of the president of ICCJ and the chief-prosecutor of DNA, which tends to explain and motivate in a dangerous and globalising logic situations and contexts regarding the act of justice on the current agenda of the legislative power and of top representatives of Romanian political life.
In this context, the Superior Council of Magistracy will notify the Judicial Inspection in order to perform checks into a possible violation of the independence of justice by affecting the authority of the judiciary and undermining the credibility of the judicial system, as a result of the institutional actions of representatives of the Senate of Romania, of the recent public statements of Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu, as the Speaker of the Senate, as well as lines of debate promoted by a part of the mass-media’, CSM notes.
According to the quoted source, the Judicial Inspection has been mainly notified to the institutional and public interventions of the representatives of the legislative power and opinion makers, whose statements overstep the reasonable boundaries of public rhetoric, with a potential of intimidation and undermining the credibility of the judiciary as a power in the state.
The Superior Council of Magistrates, under Section 97 of Law 303/2004, will notify the Judicial Inspection in order to perform checks into the activity and conduct of the prosecutors and judges who participated in the case.
Predoiu: ‘Mr. Tariceanu is no longer the Speaker of the Senate, he’s the servant of the mafia. Resign!’
PNL First Vice-President Catalin Predoiu is urging Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu to resign following his support of the changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure removing preventive arrest in corruption cases and after requesting the dismissal of the chief-prosecutor of DNA and High Court president.
‘Mr. Tariceanu’s conduct has nothing to do with the position and prerogative of the Speaker of the Romanian Senate, but with the duties of a mafia servant, the employee of Ponta and PSD. He does not wish to observe the law, he keeps breaking it by all means’, Catalin Predoiu says in a release. ‘Mr. Tariceanu no longer represents Romanians, he is the active agent of PSD and Ponta’s in their fight with the fight against corruption, rule of law and laws of Romania’, the opposition representative adds.
The former minister of justice reminds the Senate speaker that the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) is the only body that may conduct judicial inspections.
‘I urge the immediate resignation of Mr. Tariceanu. Today we came close to catastrophe with the attempted decriminalisation of the conflict of interests. Mr. Tariceanu continues to push Romania to the brim of the precipice. He should just leave and give us a break. Romanians do not pay him to serve the mafia’, Catalin Predoiu concludes.
Boboc: It is most inappropriate that the power should use this woman’s grief to account for attacks on Criminal Code
Cătălin Boboc, Chairman of the Senate Legal Committee, said that, as far as he understood, ‘Mr. Tariceanu together with the power in the Senate were trying to send two more notifications regarding the same situation – one to CSM and one to the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice’. Consultations have been scheduled among the political groups for Wednesday.
‘As far as we all know, in Romania there are self-regulatory mechanisms for such situations. We have a CSM and the Judicial Inspection that definitely take note and check into such cases and there is no room for politics in these cases, and the Senate is a political body’, the Liberal Catalin Boboc said.
‘It is most inappropriate that the power should sue this woman’s grief to account for the latest attacks on the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. (…) They will come and say: all changes we have proposed these last few weeks are fully justified’, Catalin Boboc said.
Tariceanu stated on Wednesday, referring to his request for the heads of ICCJ and DNA to resign, that he made the statements as a Senator. “I made the statements as Senator. I didn’t speak on behalf of the Senate,” Tariceanu stated.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that he does not reply to Catalin Predoiu because he considers his statements to be of unbridled populism and full of demagogy.
“Predoiu’s statements are full of demagogy and of unbridled populism. He has a style that offends so I have no reason to respond to him,” Tariceanu said according to B1TV.
Premier Victor Ponta accused PNL First Vice President Catalin Predoiu of “swearing at Tariceanu as if he was on a stadium.”
“I thought nothing amazes me anymore in politics, but to see a person whom Tariceanu appointed minister swearing at him worse than if he was in a stadium is still a surprise, I didn’t expect the filth to be so big,” Premier Ponta stated.
In reply, Predoiu stated on Wednesday that all of his criticism toward the Senate Speaker is “a form of respect” that Victor Ponta “does not understand.”
“Of course, Ponta, you cannot understand how you can openly criticize a former colleague because you don’t have values, opinions and principles! (…) I criticize Tariceanu because what he is doing is not good and this too is a form of respect, Ponta! You never openly criticized Nastase, on the other hand you gossiped at every corner and undermined him all the way through, Ponta,” Predoiu, former justice minister in the Tariceanu Government, wrote on Facebook. “At least Tariceanu, whom I attacked yesterday, had a job and a business, things that will always be out of your league,” Predoiu added.
PNL’s Gorghiu: Tariceanu’s initiative in Mariana Rarinca case is politically-driven
PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu claimed that the initiative that Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu had in the Mariana Rarinca case is politically-driven.
“The Romanian Senate has no reason to interfere in cases which the Romanian judiciary, through the CSM and Judiciary Inspection mechanisms, can handle without Mr. Tariceanu’s guidance. According to the Constitution the Senate legislates, it does not issue opinions on court rulings. This role belongs exclusively to the CSM and the competent courts. If someone is guilty of judicial error he should be held accountable, but his guilt is not established by MPs,” Gorghiu pointed out.