The National Liberal Party (PNL) Senator Alina Gorghiu stated on Thursday that the National Liberal Party will challenge at the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) the bill tabled by Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, according to which the President and the Justice Minister are to be excluded from the procedure through which the Prosecutor General and the chief prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) are appointed in office, in case it is adopted by the Senate, pointing out that the bill is “nothing but a political vendetta against President Klaus Iohannis.”
On Thursday, at a press conference that took place at the offices of PNL Timis, Alina Gorghiu said that if the Senate adopts the bill tabled by Calin Popescu-Tariceanu then the law will be challenged at the Constitutional Court of Romania.
“If it passes the Senate’s plenum, the appointment or dismissal of magistrates or prosecutors – which is Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s life project –, I assure you it will be challenged by the PNL at the Constitutional Court of Romania. My announcement is not a surprise; however, I assure you that we cannot allow an unconstitutional solution to become law,” Gorghiu said.
Alina Gorghiu claims that this bill aims to deprive President Klaus Iohanis of prerogatives in nominating or appointing the chief prosecutors.
“Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s proposal is nothing but a political vendetta against President Klaus Iohannis. In Tariceanu’s view, the procedure of appointing the prosecutor stipulates that the President should no longer have any kind of prerogative in this sense,” Alina Gorghiu added.
According to the bill, the Romanian President and the Justice Minister are excluded from the procedure to appoint the Prosecutor General and the chief prosecutors of the DNA and of the DIICOT, who would be appointed by the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) instead.
“The High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor General, his first deputy and deputy, the chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, his deputies, the chief prosecutors of these prosecutor offices’ sections, as well as the chief prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism and his deputies are appointed by the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) from among prosecutors with a minimum seniority of 10 years as judges or prosecutors, for a three-year term, with the possibility to reinstate them only once,” the bill reads.
The CSM would also be able to dismiss them, ex officio or at the request filed by the general assembly or by the Prosecutor General.
Today, the Prosecutor General, his first deputy and deputy, the chief prosecutor of the DNA, his deputy, the chief prosecutors of these prosecutor offices’ sections, as well as the chief prosecutor of the DIICOT and his deputies are nominated by the Justice Minister and appointed in office by the President, with the Supreme Magistracy Council’s (CSM) confirmation.
At the same time, according to the bill, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) would appoint its president, vice president and section presidents from among the judges that worked for at least two years within this court. The ICCJ president, vice president or section presidents would be dismissed by the ICCJ, which could do so ex officio, at the request of one third of its members or at the request of the institution’s general assembly.
According to the legislation currently in force, the ICCJ president, vice presidents and section presidents are nominated by the CSM and appointed by the Romanian President.
The bill tabled by Calin Popescu Tariceanu was tacitly adopted by the Lower Chamber last year, making the Senate the Chamber with the final say in this matter.
On Tuesday, the Senate’s Judicial Committee postponed the bill amending the statute of judges and prosecutors because its initiator was absent.