The lawyers of the former IntMin Gabriel Oprea requested on Wednesday to the Supreme Court to notify CCR on the unconstitutionality of an article of the Criminal Procedure Code by which the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber is restricted from ordering the criminal trial to be ceased.
At the hearing of Wednesday of the trial at the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Gabriel Oprea’s lawyers submitted a request to the court by which they ask the judges to notify CCR on the unconstitutionality of the Article no.17 of the Criminal Procedure Code, motivating that it doesn’t allow the Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber to order the cessation of the criminal trial, but only to return the case to the Prosecutor or to order the judgment of the case on merits, according to agerpres.ro.
Dan Lupascu, one of the Gabriel Oprea’s lawyers, stated when exiting the courtroom, that the request refers to the Pre-Trial Chamber procedure. “It refers to a constitutional challenge related to the Pre-Trial Chamber procedure, meaning that the current Criminal Procedure Code limits the cases when the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber may order the restitution of a case to the prosecutor. In the present case, we claim that due to the intervention of the Decision no.405/2016 of CCR (the decision defining the abuse of office), the judgement cannot continue, because it equates to a cause preventing the criminal proceedings to be exercised” Dan Lupascu stated.
Specifically, as the lawyer explained, since he cannot exercise the criminal proceedings, unfortunately the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber cannot issue a decision to cease the criminal proceeding, (…) which means the continuation of the criminal trial, so the defendant has different procedural rights, in terms of public image it means a violation to the rights he enjoys.
Asked if Gabriel Oprea could request the cessation of the trial invoking the CCR decision defining the abuse of office, the defender stated: “The possibility to cease the criminal proceedings in the Pre-Trial Chamber is not provided not only in this case, but in any other case. For instance, if the defendant dies, the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber is obliged to notify the court, it’s illogical, it’s absurd, but he cannot issue another decision. Same way, if the parties have reconciled, if the limitation period occurred, therefore in all these cases, the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber cannot give such a solution”.
In this respect, Dan Lupascu believes that the ideal situation for his client is to return the case to the Prosecutor, or a decision of the judge “to cease the criminal proceedings”.
“Either to return the case to the Prosecutor, or the Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber to be able to issue a solution of ceasing the criminal proceedings. But this means the constitutional challenge to be approved. It is obvious that the CCR decision is applicable in this case, because he is accused of breaching a decision of the National Defence Supreme Council. This decision is not part of the primary legislation. It’s true that it is claimed that the Article no.6 of the National Security Law is invoked. This article provides that CSAT is in charge with coordinating the activity in the field. How these attributions can be breached, so that we can talk about the Interior Minister’s responsibility?” claimed the lawyer.
Lupascu also stated that Gabriel Oprea wishes the truth to be revealed, but with the strict respect of the procedural provisions.
“That CCR decision on the abuse of office affects the present case. (…) Mr. Oprea wants the truth to be revealed in both of his cases, but in the strict respect of the procedural provisions, including the CCR decision on the abuse of office. In this regard, he is accused of approving the budget to be supplemented with RON 410,000 and the purchase of a car that still exists at the Interior Ministry” Lupascu stated.
In May last year, Gabriel Oprea was sent to judgment by the DNA prosecutors in the case related to the Directorate of Intelligence and Internal Protection. Gabriel Oprea, who was Deputy PM for National Security and Interior Minister, is accused of abuse of office if the official has obtained for himself or for other person an undue benefit.