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April 20, 2021

Ciolos Gov’t at its first simple motion Justice. Minister Raluca Pruna defends herself in almost empty plenum hall

MPs debated on Monday the first simple motion against a member of Premier Dacian Ciolos’ team. The minister concerned is Raluca Pruna, Justice Minister who was thus censured by ALDE, Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s party, after she wrote in a Facebook posting on March 14 that the government ordinance on wiretappings does not limit rights and freedoms but in fact gives them substance, emphasising that “rights are a theoretical luxury” and that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) did not receive any prerogative it did not already have.

When debating the motion, Pruna stated in Parliament that its text contains “cartoonish” terms and that it isn’t an option in order to amend or modify the wiretappings ordinance. The minister also announced that she wants to present in Parliament, for the first time in 10 years, the report on the activity of prosecutor’s offices.

“On March 14, I posted on my Facebook page the following phrase: “With a criminal prosecution and the combating of petty criminality, the talk about rights is a theoretical luxury.” I am here before you today because a number of officials have considered that this is a threat toward fundamental rights. It’s obvious for any reader of good faith that this phrase contains an argument: it’s not enough for rights to be merely proclaimed. Rights have to be guaranteed by the state that has a constitution, adheres to treaties,” Pruna said in an almost empty hall.

“Government emergency ordinance (OUG)/1 March 2016: sets Romanian legislation in line with the requirements of Constitutional Court decision 51/2016, precisely for a better guaranteeing of rights; it establishes the judicial police worker and prosecutor as criminal investigation authority. The ordinance introduces judicial control, through the High Court, on the way the warrant is enforced. It creates the legal framework for a specially trained personnel to enforce the wiretapping warrant. We are talking about crimes from Title 10 of the Criminal Code: treason, espionage, terrorism, compromise of state interests. This is the optimal solution, not at all unique in the EU. A void that had to be patched up was created. I am looking around, in the European context, and no, I cannot afford the risk of a more lenient solution. The ordinance is now on Parliament’s table. The Government was very clear and firm and pointed out that it adopted a stop-gap solution,” the Justice Minister said, pointing out that she will be the first Justice Minister in the last 10 years to present in Parliament a report on the activity of prosecutor’s offices. The motion will be voted on Wednesday, within the plenum meeting.

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