Justice Minister Tudorel Toader answered, in a Facebook post, to the criticisms on the impact of the law that allows the detainees accommodated in inappropriate detention spaces to be released, saying that the draft law was sent by the Government to the Parliament before he was appointed as the Justice Minister, that the impact study is made in the enactment procedure and that Constitutional Court (CCR) rejected the objections on the constitutionality of the draft law.
In the post entitled “Simple mentions on the compensatory remedy”, Toader begins by saying that the Justice Ministry forwarded the draft law amending and supplementing the Law no.254/2013 on the execution of the sentences and the measures of deprivation of liberty ordered by the judicial bodies, to the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) on November 17, 2016, in order to be approved, through the Letter no.68/86950.
He also points out that CSM issued the positive opinion on the draft law on November 26, 2016, through the Decision No.1533, with the remarks noted in the annex attached to the draft sent to the Senate.
“The opinion mentions in the Item 2 that the compensatory measure shouldn’t become applicable, as a principle, only for the calculation of the sentence that can be deemed as executed in order to grant the conditional release. The Plenum’s position is that the compensation for persons who execute sentences of deprivation of liberty in circumstances of severe overcrowding becomes applicable only if the measure proposed by the draft law is related to considering the 3 days of the applied sentence as actually executed for each period of 30 days executed in the inappropriate space” the Minister mentions.
Another argument he has was: “The draft law was sent by the Government to the Senate, the first notified Chamber, on January 31, 2017, before I was appointed as the Justice Minister”.
Tudorel Toader also mentions that the original form of the law was stating that “in order to grant conditional release, for 30 days of sentence executed in inappropriate conditions, 3 days of sentence are deemed as executed, while the calculation was made for 3 sqm for each inmate”.
Other arguments brought by him are that “CCR rejected the objections on the constitutionality” and “the impact study is made in the enactment procedure, not in the stage of implementing the law”.
More than 500 inmates were released from prisons in the first day of entry into force of the compensatory remedy law. Toader: It’s beyond my expectations. Inmates released before the law was published, who have pending cases at ECHR are compensated in money
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Friday that following the entry into force of the compensatory remedy law, as many as 529 inmates were released from prisons as of Thursday at midnight.
“Yesterday [Thursday], based on this law, the addition of six days considered as served, 529 inmates were released from prison. It’s far beyond even my expectations. I was not expecting the impact to be so big, but, certainly, that is the effect of the law,” Toader told a conference on the protection of prisoners’ rights and detention conditions in Romania.
He mentioned that the information was sent by director of National Administration of the Penitentiaries (ANP) Marian Dobrica.
The minister stated that 3,349 inmates gained the right to be conditionally released.
Tudorel Toader also mentioned that some of the units encountered problems in implementing this measure, namely they didn’t know if the judge’s intervention was necessary, or they can use the administrative means.
“Some penitentiaries hesitated on implementing the measure, since they didn’t know if they should use the administrative means or if the judge’s intervention is necessary. One penitentiary’s management went to the court, but the court rejected the request, so they finally solved by administrative means” the minister said.
The compensatory remedy law provides that each detainee will benefit from six days considered to be executed for each 30 days executed in inappropriate conditions.
According to the law, inappropriate conditions refer to: accommodation in a space that is smaller or equal to 4 sqm per detainee, which is calculated by dividing the total area of the detention rooms to the number of people accommodated in these rooms, regardless of the endowment of that space, excluding the sanitary groups and the space for food storage; the lack of access to outdoor activities; the lack of access to natural light or to enough air or to ventilation; the lack of the appropriate temperature in the room; the lack of access to private toilet and the nonobservance of the elementary sanitary rules and the hygiene requirements; infiltrations, dampness and mold on the walls of the detention room.
The period for which days considered to be executed are granted for compensating the inappropriate accommodation conditions is calculated starting from July 24, 2012.
“Compensations between 5 and 8 euros a day to released inmates for improper detention conditions”
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said on Friday that the inmates having fully served their prison sentences will likely receive between 5 and 8 euros for each day of their serving under improper detention conditions before the coming into force of the law on compensatory remedies.
“Cases have been piled up in the thousands at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has suspended them, ruled on their halt and now we have to pay them compensations. If they are still in prison, some receive these six-day curtailments for every 30 days of their sentence. Maybe others have fully served their prison sentences, gone home, but they still have a trial, and I said that they can no longer qualify for the six days because they are already free. So they will qualify for financial compensations,” said Toader asked by journalists if the ministry can afford to pay out the compensations to the inmates released before the coming into force of the law on compensatory remedies.
He gave the example of Hungary and Italy, who set between 5 and 8 euros a day for improper detention, saying that “we probably will be in the same area too.”
“I do not set the size. I can give you two examples: Hungary has set 5 euros per each day of improper detention, while Italy has set 8 euros per each day of improper detention and the European Court has ruled that both are fair compensation. We probably will be in the same area too, the area that the Government will decide on in the bill and then Parliament as the decision maker. There is a ruling of the ECHR stating that the government may not use the lack of funds as an excuse for the failure to meet the obligations set by court order. The Government must fulfill this obligation. If the total amount is too high, the Government may pay out the compensations in instalments,” Toader said.
Ponta on the compensatory remedy law: Stupidity, cowardliness, lying and wickedness have joined each other from the Justice Ministry to the leadership of the Deputies’ Chamber – all of us will feel the consequences!
Former PM Victor Ponta believes that the compensatory remedy law which entered into force on Thursday is “absolutely aberrant” with unacceptable consequences, leading to the release from prisons of the murderers and rapists, alongside those who really can integrate into society.
Ponta says that the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea and the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader do nothing to solve the problem of the penitentiary conditions or the problems related to abuses and political cases and Criminal Codes, but instead of this, “they make noise on TV”.
“The final form of the law is an absolutely aberrant decision leading to unacceptable situations!” Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
He said he agrees that abuses and political cases must be stopped and the provisions of the Criminal Code leading to abuses must be “elucidated”, but “Dragnea, Toader & <<The Making Noise Co.>> did nothing to this end”, making only empty statements.
The former Pm also says that legislative measures should be taken in order to sanction prosecutors who violate the fundamental rights and freedoms, but the PSD leader and the Justice Minister did nothing to this end, too.
“The practice used by Securitate and KGB consisting of abusively asking for denouncements from poor people who are constrained or from criminals who thus want to diminish their sentences to one half, must be stopped – Dragnea, Toader & Co. did nothing to this end in 2017. The limits of the sentences for offenses that are not committed violently must be reduced by legislative means, and the damage recovery must be requested (not just staying in prison) – Dragnea, Toader & Co. did nothing to this end in 2017” Ponta wrote, too.
The former PM also wrote that Liviu Dragnea “is only making noise on TV”, instead of taking concrete measures to improve the penitentiary conditions and adopting the measures required by ECHR, so that “life in a penitentiary will not be a torture as in the Middle Ages, which makes bed people become even worse”.
“(…) The effort made by Adriana Saftoiu to debate this extremely serious matter in the Plenum of the Deputies’ Chamber is despised by Liviu Dragnea as the Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber. The measures requested by ECHR must be taken in order to bring the penitentiary conditions (those related to the inmates and to the staff working in there) to EU standards – thus avoiding us as a country to be convicted to various fines! In 2017, Dragnea, Toader & Co. made shows and noise on TV – absolutely nothing else!” the former PM also claims.
The former PM says that the members of the government coalition, instead of making what they have promised in the electoral campaign, are adopting a law that releases from prison murderers and rapists, alongside those who really can integrate into society.
“Instead of doing these right things that were promised in the electoral campaign and accepted by all the rational people, they adopted a law that releases from prisons murderers, rapists, robbers, alongside those who really could return the money and reintegrate into society! Stupidity, cowardliness, lying and wickedness have joined each other from the Justice Ministry to the leadership of the Deputies’ Chamber – all of us will feel the consequences!” Ponta concluded.