JUSTICE

JusMin Pruna on extended powers of confiscation bill: It translates a European directive

The bill regarding extended powers of confiscation, currently up for public discussions, is the transposition of a European directive to the Romanian legislation, Justice Minister Raluca Pruna said Monday.

“The bill that we put up for public discussions late last week is in fact the transposition of a European directive. (…) I would like to invite everybody to read the bill and contribute toward the public debate,” Pruna told Radio Romania Actualitati public radio broadcaster.

The Justice Ministry has put up for public discussion a bill amending and supplementing the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure and supplementing Article 79 of Law 253/2013 concerning the serving of criminal sentences, educational measures and other measures that do not deprive of liberty ordered by courts of law during court trials that transposes provisions from Directive 2014/42/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union.

Under the bill, extended confiscation will regard, besides the assets already mentioned in the law, other assets “when the person is sentenced for a crime which commission is susceptible of procuring the offender material gains, provided that the maximum applicable sentence is four years or more.”

“Extended confiscation should be ordered when the court is satisfied that the assets in question are the proceeds of crime and it should regard the assets acquired by the sentenced person five years before the commission of crime and even five years afterwards, when necessary, until the date when the court issues the ruling,” the bill says.

Another article says the National Administration of Impounded Assets Agency will inform the judges about any obstacle to or delay in the conduct of the special confiscation or extended confiscation, based on information to be received regularly from the National Tax Administration Agency and the authorities responsible for the carrying out of the measures.

The sponsors of the bill argues that their legislative amendments are aimed first of all at extending the coverage of extended confiscation to include office offences and public health offences by discarding the current regulations that comprise a limited list of offences covered.

“By the approval of this bill, the security measure of extended confiscation will apply to more offences (…): office offences (embezzlement, abuse of office, usurpation of office, conflict of interest, illegal obtaining of funds), public healthcare offences (water infestation, falsification or substitution of foodstuff and related products, trade in spoiled food, trafficking in hazardous products or substances,” the sponsors say.

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