The Judicial Inspection (JI) announced on Wednesday that it has started a disciplinary action against DNA prosecutors Marius Bulancea, Paul Dumitriu and Jean Uncheselu, accused of “exercising their prerogatives with severe negligence” in the case in which they probed the way Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) no.13 was adopted.
The Judicial Inspection informs that it has started a disciplinary action against prosecutors Marius Bogdan Bulancea – Section Chief, Paul Silviu Dumitriu – Deputy Section Chief and Jean Nicolae Uncheselu – member of the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) Central Structure, for “exercising their prerogatives with severe negligence.”
The Judicial Inspection argues that the conduct adopted by the Section Chief and the Deputy Section Chief in what concerns the registration of the complaint lodged on January 31 and the opening of the case file concerning Ordinance no.13, prior to the complaint being supplemented by new elements liable to trigger the DNA’s competence, “disregarded the provisions of Article 294, Paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPP), Article 58, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the CPP, the procedural stipulations of law no.78/2000 and of law no.115/1999, which make reference to the provisions of Article 3, Paragraph 1, Letter a) and of Article 13 and Article 24 of Government Emergency Ordinance no.43/2002, with subsequent amendments.”
“Failure to observe the criminal procedure in exercising their prerogatives, which required the judiciary body, on one hand, to close the case without carrying out criminal probe actions as a result of the incidence of one of the cases that forbids the exercise of the criminal prosecution and, on the other hand, not to order the start of the criminal prosecution against the guilty act, since all of the guilty acts claimed in the complaint actually concerned aspects pertaining to the procedure of adopting a normative act, namely aspects pertaining to advisability and legality that do not fall under the jurisdiction of criminal prosecution bodies, regardless of the legal classification of offences established by the prosecutor (Article 294, Paragraph 3 of the CPP; Article 315, Paragraph 1, Letter b) of the CPP; Article 305, Paragraph 1 of the CPP),” the Judicial Inspection explains.
At the same time, judicial inspectors point out that prosecutor Marius Bogdan Bulancea violated the provisions of Article 304, Paragraph 2 (which references Paragraph 1) of the CPP, which concern the carrying out of the criminal probe in the case (the designation of a second prosecutor handling the case and the signing of numerous letters sent to other institutions, whose object consisted of the requests formulated by the prosecutors further to the interest of the criminal probe), and failed to exercise ex officio the prerogatives that concern the dismissal of acts or measures taken by the prosecutors handling the case in disregard of legal provisions.
The JI report also points out that the result was the grave violation of the separations of powers principle on the part of the three DNA prosecutors “who considered themselves competent to verify the advisability, observance of the legislative procedure and, implicitly, the legality of the adoption of the Government Emergency Ordinance.”
According to the aforementioned source, another consequence was the deterioration of the public opinion’s confidence in and respect for the office of magistrate, damaging the image of the judiciary as a public service, considering that, given the concrete conduct adopted by the prosecutors under investigation – which took shape in the violation of the criminal procedure norms shown above –, the Constitutional Court noted that the Public Ministry not only exceeded the prerogatives allotted to it by Constitution and by law, but also assumed prerogatives that belong to the Constitutional Court or the legislative branch.
The Judicial Inspection also says that the disciplinary action against the three prosecutors has been forwarded to the Supreme Magistracy Council’s section for prosecutors, which will decide on the magistrates’ accountability.
The dossier concerning OUG no.13 was closed on June 26 by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, against the backdrop of the Constitutional Court ruling issued as a result of a notification concerning the existence of a constitutional conflict between the Government and the DNA.
In the dossier concerning OUG no.13, DNA prosecutors ordered, on February 24, the closing of the case whose object was the offence stipulated by Article 13 of law no.78/2000, namely the use of influence or authority – on the part of a person who holds a leadership position within a political party – in order to obtain money, goods or other undue benefits for himself/herself or for others.
Back then, investigators also decided to split the case and decline jurisdiction at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Justice in what concerned five offences, namely: aiding and abetting; presenting Parliament or the Romanian President – with ill will – with inaccurate data on the activity of the Government or of a ministry, in order to hide the committal of guilty acts liable to harm state interests (stipulated and censured by law no.115/1999 on ministerial accountability); stealing or destroying documents; stealing or destroying evidence or documents; forgery.
The DNA claimed at the time that the Justice Ministry had destroyed a document from the Ministry for the Relation with Parliament, a document in which the draft OUG no.13 allegedly received, shortly before its approval by the Government, an advisability report featuring observations and proposals.
The DNA pointed out at the time that the normative act had received, just hours before its approval, the endorsement of only the Interior Ministry, which concerned strictly traffic crimes, and of the Legislative Council, featuring observations on its urgency, while the Foreign Affairs Minister undersigned the draft at the Government Headquarters because he was asked for his endorsement “on the spot.”