JUSTICE POLITICS

Senate President Tariceanu on PM Ponta case: Justice is repeatedly used as a political weapon

Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu believes justice has been used as a political weapon in Romania in order to capture power by eliminating political foes, with the recent court case against Prime Minister Victor Ponta being relevant to the point.

“I can notice many parliamentarians are either scared by seeing how easy it is for people to become politically compromised with some fabricated court cases or a negative media campaign, or they are accomplices. Accomplices are those covered and those who imagine they can get to power by undemocratic ways, by means of eliminating political foes by court cases, instead of by democratic vote. The most relevant example to the point is the case implicating the Prime Minister for which he was sent to court. In a society with rule of law traditions, the Prime Minister would have almost certainly resigned. But in Romania, as you may know, justice has been used more than once as a political weapon,” Tariceanu told the opening on Wednesday of a conference on representative governance and the separation of state powers under the sign of democracy organised under the aegis of the Romanian Senate.

He also mentioned the case of former Defence Minister Teodor Atanasiu, who was sent to court only to be acquitted, adding that in his opinion Prime Minister Victor Ponta could in the end be acquitted as well.

Tariceanu added that, “when a politician dares criticise some aspects of some segments of the judiciary, he or she is very promptly executed by the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) and the judiciary inspection under the accusation of damaging justice independence.”

About corrupted and abusive magistrates, Tariceanu said in his opinions some CSM members have lost legitimacy to represent the magistracy, and so there are serious question marks over the magistrates’ confidence in and respect to the CSM.

The Senate on Wednesday started a two-day conference on representative governance and the separation of state powers under the sign of democracy.

Organised under the aegis of Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the event focuses on two themes: separation, independence and mutual check and balance of the state powers, as well as the fight against corruption as an obligation of the organisations of any democratic state.

Expected to attend the conference are Romania’s former President Emil Constantinescu; Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea; Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc; chair of the Association of Romanian Magistrates (AMR) Gabriela Baltag; chair of the National Union of Romania’s Bars (UNBR) Gheorghe Florea; Senate Deputy Chairman Ioan Chelaru; Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Florin Iordache; Senators Daniel Barbu and Serban Nicolae, as well as professor Fulco Lanchester of the Sapienza University of Rome.

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