The draft law on the setting up, organisation and operation of the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets was rejected by the Senate with 66 votes in favour, 36 voted against and 6 abstentions. In order to be approved, the bill would have needed 84 votes in favour, as it is an organic act.
The bill will be addressed by the Chamber of Deputies, where the final decision will be made.
The draft law is for setting up the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets, a public institution of national interest, a legal entity subordinated to the Ministry of Justice.
The draft law setting up the institution was expedited after Laura Codruta Kovesi had voiced her dissatisfaction with the performance of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF), noting that ‘if it cannot foreclose seized assets, it should surrender the competence to another institution that is able o’. The DNA head added that the assets that would need to be seized, only in connection with cases dealt with by DNA amounted to EUR 310 M.
An idea thus came up to found an Agency for the Collection of Damages from criminal cases.
On Monday, after attending the meeting of the PSD political group at the Senate, the Minister of Justice, Robert Cazanciuc, said he had talked to the Chamber speaker to put the bill regulating the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets through ‘accelerated procedure’ if it was adopted by the Senate on Tuesday.
The draft law says the Agency will facilitate the pursuit and identification of the proceeds of crime and other assets connected with the crimes, that might be subject to a freezing, seizure or confiscation order issued by a relevant judicial authority in the course of a criminal process. The Agency will manage, in certain cases, mobile assets seized during the criminal process, will sell the seized mobile assets in the course of the criminal process, manage the integrated national IT system for the record of receivables from crime.
The law also states that the institution will manage and keep a record of the sums of money that are the object of the seizure, sums resulting from selling the perishable goods, from special cases of selling seized mobile assets,. As well as sums owed in any way to the suspect, defendant or civilly liable party, that were frozen.
Last week, the parliamentary groups met with the initiator of the law, Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc, to discuss the matter.
PM Ponta on Senate defeating bill on agency for impounded assets: We will pass the bill in Chamber
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Tuesday that the Power MPs in the Chamber of Deputies will better mobilise themselves so that the bill on the establishment, organisation and operation of a national agency for the administration of impounded assets may be adopted after being defeated in the Senate.
“The law will come and we in the Chamber of Deputies will support it. Ask Mr Dragnea and Mr Fifor about the Social Democrats in the Senate. I know that the Liberals also voted against. Because they say one thing and do another. We will support the bill in the Chamber of Deputies and the political leaders will surely better mobilise their colleagues,” Ponta said Tuesday at the Parliament Palace.
Justice Minister Cazanciuc: Defeat of bill on a national agency for administration of impounded assets, contrary to Romania’s interests
Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc has argued that the Senate recently defeating a bill on the establishment, organisation and operation of a national agency for the administration of impounded assets is a vote against Romania’s interests.
“I have seen some media headlines earlier talking about a ‘bleak Tuesday.’ I would not call it a ‘bleak Tuesday,’ but what happened today in the Senate was a vote against the interests of Romania. I had left the Senate in the morning somewhat optimistic; I had even prepared a speech in which I was trying to say that we have an opportunity together with the senators to debunk the myth of ‘Tuesday 13’ and show that things can be different that in our perception. Unfortunately, it did not happen as planned: there was a vote against the bill, against the interests of Romania,” Cazanciuc told the TVR national public broadcaster on Tuesday.