INTELLIGENCE JUSTICE

Supreme Council of National Defence gives favourable opinion on wiretapping ordinance

The Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) has convened on Friday  in a  meeting to discuss a government emergency ordinance on wiretapping, following a decision by the Constitutional Court that ruled unconstitutional wiretapping by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

The meeting, chaired by President Klaus Iohannis, lasted nearly 40 minutes.

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) argues that except for Art. 142 Para. (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, no other regulation in national law expressly sets forth the competence of a state agency other than the criminal prosecution bodies to perform interceptions or enforce a technical surveillance warrant.

“Starting from the concrete data in the case submitted for constitutionality check, the Court considers that regulation in this area cannot be done otherwise but by a regulatory act with power of law and not by regulatory provisions or regulatory acts with administrative character adopted by bodies other than the lawmaking authority, which are acts characterized by a high degree of instability or inaccessibility,” states the reasoning for the CCR decision to declare as unconstitutional the phrase “other specialized state bodies” in the Criminal Procedure Code article that regulates interceptions.

The CCR plenum admitted on February 16, by majority vote, the objection of unconstitutionality of the Criminal Procedure Code provisions according to which the technical supervision ordered by the prosecutor can be performed not only by “the criminal investigation body or police experts” but also “by other specialized bodies of the state.”

 

President Klaus Iohannis: This draft law is meant to provide “in a fist stage” a solution to the activity of judiciary bodies

 

The Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) has given a favourable opinion on the emergency ordinance on wiretappings, President Klaus Iohannis said Friday.

“CSAT has given a favourable opinion on this draft and its adoption by the Government will now represent a solution, albeit a temporary one, to a problem concerning both the state bodies and the public opinion,” said the head of state.

Iohannis explained that this draft law is meant to provide “in a first stage” a solution to the activity of judiciary bodies, and then the legislature can take into account other solutions to debate “with all interested institutions and with the civil society.”

“There are opinions according to which the activity of prosecutor’s offices, in the absence of the necessary technical infrastructure for conducting such special surveillance, would be affected both in terms of prosecution operations and in terms of administering a complete body of evidence. The emergency ordinance comes to respond exactly to these concerns,” the President said.

He added that the purpose of the emergency CSAT meeting was that of “analysing, debating and finding solutions in real time to the situation created by the Constitutional Court decision on the constitutionality of wiretappings, as it is known in the public space.”

In his opinion, this matter has two important aspects.

“The first is related to observing the court decision and the need to harmonise the legislation with this decision. The second aspect is related to the need to ensure uninterruptedly the legislative framework for justice to do its job, be it about national security cases or corruption cases. Both aspects are essential for a functional rule of law, and I, as President, have pledged to guarantee the functioning of the rule of law in Romania,” said Iohannis.

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