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December 1, 2022

DIICOT Chief Prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu: Abuse of office not decriminalised since law was not abrogated

Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Chief Prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu stated on Wednesday that abuse of office is not currently decriminalised, pointing out that the law which regulates this crime has not been abrogated but must be modified in the sense requested by the Constitutional Court.

Asked whether abuse of office is at this moment decriminalised and whether this problem really exists, Horodniceanu answered: “Opinions are split. We too are jurists, the judges are jurists too, each interprets it in his own way. We expressed our juridical opinion after the text [of the law] was declared unconstitutional. As the law says too, the text was not abrogated, but must be modified in the sense requested by the CCR.”

“Abuse of office is not decriminalised. Decriminalisation means an abrogation, albeit a tacit one,” Horodniceanu emphasised for Mediafax.

In its turn, the Prosecutor General’s Office pointed out in a press release on Tuesday that the Constitutional Court’s decision last year – which established that the “deficiently carries out” wording included in the definition of abuse of office should be understood as “carries out by breaking the law” – did not “decriminalise” abuse of office.

The Court decided that failure to carry out an action or deficiently carrying out an action must be analysed solely in relation to job prerogatives that are expressly regulated through primary legislation – laws and government ordinances – the prosecutors added. “It has to be pointed out that Decision no.405/2016 is an interpretative decision which does not affect the normative content of the law analysed but only its meaning that runs in opposition to the Constitution. Basically, without declaring the unconstitutionality of the text [of law], the Court reinterprets the norm and establishes which is the interpretation compatible with the Constitution. Consequently, this decision did not decriminalise abuse of office,” the Public Ministry representatives pointed out.

Prosecutors pointed out that the Constitutional Court decided, in what concerns the definition of abuse of office, that the stipulations of the law are constitutional “to the extent in which the ‘deficiently carries out’ wording included in it is understood as ‘carries out by breaking the law.’”

The Public Ministry also showed that the body of this decision is supplemented and must be interpreted/applied in relation to the considerations on which it is based and which explain it.

The statements come against the backdrop of public debates about an alleged decriminalisation of abuse of office.


“I don’t think merging DIICOT and DNA would be a very good idea. Idea launched by Pruna wasn’t very serious”


DIICOT Chief Prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu stated on Wednesday in Parliament that he does not believe that merging the DIICOT and the DNA would be “a very good idea” and he does not believe that the idea publicly launched by former Justice Minister Raluca Pruna was “very serious.”

“I don’t even think it was a very serious idea at that moment and, from what I remember, Minister Pruna was talking about a very distant future. (…) Let’s first see the bill and we’ll talk afterward. At this moment, if you’re asking me without seeing it, although it is not juridically very correct, I’d tell you that it wouldn’t be a very good move,” Horodniceanu said after a Lower Chamber Judiciary Committee debate on the emergency ordinance that the Ciolos Government issued in relation to DIICOT’s activity, news.ro informs.

DIICOT’s Chief Prosecutor stated that such a merger would change the way in which the Directorate is functioning, considering that the DIICOT and the DNA are bodies with different prerogatives and organised differently.

“At this moment, I don’t think it would be a very good idea. (…) Let’s not talk about things that could exist, but about things that exist,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Lower Chamber’s Judiciary Committee discussed government emergency ordinance (GEO) no.78/2016. The debates on the law approving GEO 78 were postponed by Committee Chairman Eugen Nicolicea. Horodniceanu showed up before the committee to propose minor amendments to the ordinance.

The ordinance was issued by the Ciolos Government and was meant to render DIICOT’s activity efficient, as stated by former minister Raluca Pruna, who wanted the Directorate to “mirror” the DNA’s organisation.

“Ideally, I believe that the DIICOT too, just like other prosecuting bodies, should enjoy from this standpoint all the guarantees that the DNA for instance has, through the existence of a body of judiciary police that would be part of the institution,” Pruna said in November 2016.

Public discussions on the merger of the DNA and the DIICOT appeared in early 2017, but the intention was denied by the Justice Ministry led by Florin Iordache, by Premier Sorin Grindeanu and by the leaders of the ruling coalition.

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