The Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) decided on Tuesday that Prime-Minister Victor Ponta had hurt the independence and prestige of the judiciary with his statements and attack on the prosecutor Jean-Nicolae Uncheselu. CSM adopted the report prepared by the Judicial Inspection.
The plenary meeting of the Superior Council of Magistrates backs the Judicial Inspection report and decided during its meeting on Tuesday that Prime-Minister Victor Ponta had violated the independence of the judiciary when saying that the DNA prosecutor who had brought him to trial in the ‘Turceni-Rovinari’ case was ‘totally unprofessional’ and only seeking ‘to build building a career by inventing and imagining untrue facts and situations going back 10 years’.
The Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) on Tuesday addressed the report of the Judicial Inspection (IJ) accusing PM Victor Ponta of hurting the reputation of prosecutor Jean-Nicolae Uncheselu who is investigating into his ‘Turceni-Rovinari’ case.
According to the report, Victor Ponta infringed on the independence of the magistrates when he said that ‘the only problem of the country is the obsession of a totally unprofessional prosecutor with building a career’.
The IJ was alerted upon the request of the DNA prosecutors’ General Assembly about the assertions Victor Ponta had made on a social media website.
On 17 September, PM Victor Ponta was sent to trial by the DNA prosecutors for a total of 17 criminal offences of falsification of documents, complicity in tax evasion and money laundering, alongside four other persons including Senator Dan Sova and the manager of the Rovinari Complex.
After being referred to Court in the ‘Turceni-Rovinari’, Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook that ‘the only problem of the country is the obsession of a totally unprofessional prosecutor with building a career by inventing and imagining untrue facts and situations going back 10 years!’
According to DNA prosecutors, from October 2007 to December 2008, through his private law practice, Victor-Viorel Ponta obtained from SCA ‘Sova si Asociatii’ the sum of 181,439.98 lei for activities that, in reality, were never performed.
Supreme Court President attacks Victor Ponta: It’s inadmissible!
Livia Stanciu, the President of the High Court (ICCJ), stated on Tuesday that Premier Victor Ponta has undermined court authority and has gone beyond the admissible limits of political discourse through his statements concerning the prosecutor that handled the “Turceni-Rovinari” case.
She emphasized that from her point of view such statements damage the independence, prestige and credibility of the judiciary and that, although it was not the direct goal, the undermining of court authority was achieved at least indirectly.
“It is clear that such statements made by a high-ranking politician, and I am talking about Romania’s Premier, the head of Romania’s Government, have gone beyond the admissible limits of political discourse. Such statements can give the public opinion an entirely false idea in the sense that the prosecutors that handle cases – and I’m not talking about DNA prosecutors alone, but about all prosecutors – allegedly lack impartiality, lack independence. (…) In fact the attempt was made to credit the idea that in handling criminal cases prosecutors act abusively, given that the statement was made that the charges are invented. Of course, this aspect, if truly real, can be verified, and the verification is made solely by the court invested with solving the case, because the court is the only one in the position to verify the legality and thoroughness of the indictment, hence of the act of arraigning the person concerned irrespective of the official position that person holds,” Livia Stanciu stated after the Superior Magistracy Council’s (CSM) meeting.
The head of the ICCJ added that she does not find it normal for someone, irrespective of the official hierarchical position held, to publicly express defences that can be expressed within the legally-established framework of the court trial, namely in the courtroom not outside the courtroom.