POLITICS

Emergency ordinance amending Penal Codes continues to generate controversies

Tariceanu: We will discuss with PSD colleagues so that ordinance would be rejected

 

ALDE Co-President Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Sunday evening on Romania TV that he will discuss with PSD representatives in order for the government’s emergency ordinance amending the Penal Codes to be rejected in Parliament and for the legislative draft amending the articles declared unconstitutional, draft filed within the Lower Chamber, to be adopted instead.

“The ordinance is not unconstitutional in certain articles, it’s unconstitutional as a whole, because one cannot legislate through emergency ordinance when we are talking about citizens’ rights and freedoms. Consequently, the proposal I made and we will discuss with the PSD colleagues is for this ordinance not to enter the debate and to be simply rejected, and for us to finalise the legislative proposal that is currently filed within the Lower Chamber,” Tariceanu stated, Agerpres informs.

He said that the legislative proposal amending the Penal Codes was blocked last year within the Lower Chamber.

“Last year, Parliament wanted to amend the two Codes as a result of the Constitutional Court decision to declare unconstitutional a series of articles. As you know, the draft was blocked within the Lower Chamber where primarily PNL, but not only them, blocked the adoption of this amendment that was absolutely necessary, and this proves not only the lack of will but also the fear and terror in which many of the current MPs are living, lacking the courage to take the bull by the horns despite the grave backsliding from the norms of the rule of law and democratic norms,” Tariceanu added.

He said that he intends to notify the Constitutional Court because the Government does not have the right to intervene on an issue that is the object of a legislative draft debated within Parliament, as is the case of the amendments brought to the two Codes.

“I hope that in parallel with this rejection of the emergency ordinance we would vote within the Lower Chamber the legislative proposal that is currently pending and that solves precisely the articles that the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional,” Tariceanua pointed out.

The emergency ordinance that amends the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code was necessary in order to clarify elements of these Codes in line with the indications made by the Constitutional Court, Government Spokesperson Dan Suciu stated at a press briefing last week.

 

Traian Basescu about Justice Minister: “She has nothing [to do] with democracy. She is pushing the country toward becoming a police state”

 

Ex-president Traian Basescu commented on Sunday, on Romania TV, the latest amendments brought to the two Codes. He particularly commented on the amendment brought to Article 153 of the Penal Procedure Code, according to which prosecutors can ask banks, without a court order, for information about a person’s financial situation. In this context, Basescu criticised Justice Minister Raluca Pruna, stating that she is “a little robot that carries out orders,” and that she is pushing Romania toward becoming “a police state.”

“Categorically, Raluca Pruna’s attitude has nothing [to do] with democracy. Nothing. She is a little robot that carries out orders, I don’t know whose, orders that categorically cannot be the fruits of democratic thinking. It’s clear that a person cannot be so deprived of criteria related to the functioning of the rule of law without someone egging that person on. The fact that a prosecutor can rummage through any person’s bank accounts is categorically a step backward in democratic progress. You see how easily prosecutors are leaking information to the press in order to create an atmosphere conducive to pre-trial arrest,” Traian Basescu stated on Romania TV.

The ex-president stated he has nothing to hide from authorities, however he does not want a prosecutor checking his bank accounts “out of curiosity” and then leaking to the press information about his financial situation.

“Why would a prosecutor check my accounts without the judge’s approval? For me, the judge’s supervision is the guarantee. Prosecutors have failed democratic spirit far too often for us to agree with them rummaging through our bank accounts. Many will say: I have nothing to hide. Neither do I, but I don’t want to have the feeling that a prosecutor who is leaking information from legal case files today will check [the bank accounts] tomorrow, out of curiosity, and leak my financial situation. And I’m not in the mood to have someone breaking into my home,” Basescu added.

The official added that through this “undemocratic measure” the Justice Minister is pushing Romania toward becoming a “police state.”

“It does no one no good, it’s an undemocratic measure. Ms. Pruna is a kind of Justice Minister that is pushing toward the police state. Recall her statement against lawyers. In court, the lawyer is equal to the prosecutor. Do you know how much a lawyer matters now in court? I know. What matters is what the prosecutor says, the lawyer is for show, just to be around there,” the ex-president concluded.

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