The Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) plenary meeting decided on Tuesday to request the protocols concluded with intelligence services/structures starting 1 January 2005.
According to a release of the CSM, in the plenary meeting several decisions have been made “regarding the problems of major public interest in respect to the independence of justice.”
One of them [of the decisions] aims at sending a request to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Courts of Appeals and Prosecutor’s Offices attached to it, the National Institute of Magistracy, the National School of Court Clerks and the Judicial Inspection, so that the CSM receives pieces of information, if there are any, in respect to protocols concluded with intelligence services/structures as of 1 January 2005.
Moreover, it was decided to file a request to the Justice Ministry regarding information on the stage of implementation and results obtained by the Inventory and Handing Over Committee of the archive of the former Anti-corruption and Protection General Directorate (DGPA).
Another request will be send to the Investigation Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber and the Senate in order to clarify aspects regarding the dissolution of the DGPA, in order for the CSM to receive data regarding the committee activity and the pieces of information it holds, in respect to the activity of some magistrates, the release mentions.
“At the request of the Superior Council of Magistrates, the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT) informs the public opinion that, following the controls conducted based on the article 7, paragraph (3) of the Law No. 303/2004 regarding the statutes of judges and prosecutors, republished, with the subsequent amendments and additions, there was no data indicating that the persons who were verified would be operative workers, including covert ones, informers or collaborators of intelligence services. Thus, a request has been addressed to the Supreme Council of National Defence, in order to communicate how are being carried out the controls stipulated at the article 7, paragraph (3) of the Law No. 303/2004 regarding the statutes of judges and prosecutors republished, with the subsequent amendments and additions,” according to the CSM decision.
Furthermore, the CSM plenary meeting also decided to send a request to the Joint Standing Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber and the Senate in order to exercise the parliamentary control over the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), for the communication of data and information on magistrates resulting from the activity of this committee.
UNJR’s Girbovan: CSM, no power to check legality of SRI protocols, ought to request declassification of that engineering
Chair of the National Union of Romanian Judges (UNJR) Dana Girbovan argues that the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) has no powers to check the legality of the protocols between the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Public Prosecution Service Ministry but it is under an obligation to request the declassification of such “engineering.”
“CSM has no powers to verify the legality of the secret protocols between the SRI and the Public Prosecution Service, but, as a guarantor of judicial independence, it is under an obligation to immediately demand the declassification of such engineering and their publication,” Girbovan wrote in a Facebook post.
She adds that the CSM plenum on Tuesday voted to add four items to the agenda, all aimed at clarifying the “thorny issue of the relationship between justice and the secret services”: the SIPA secret archives, the Supreme Council for National Defence’s checks whether or not there are intelligence officers in the judiciary, visits by magistrates at various conspiratorial houses of SRI and the protocols between SRI and the Public Prosecution Service.
“Regarding the protocols between the SRI and the Public Prosecution Service or any other entity of the judiciary, the CSM solution had to be a simple and immediate one: to ask the Attorney General to immediately declassify any protocol signed between the Public Prosecution Service or any other subordinate body, or between SRI or any other intelligence service,” says Girbovan.
According to her, the request comes in contradiction with the constitutional competence of the Supreme Council of Magistrates.
“CSM, and moreover the Judiciary Inspectorate, has no powers regarding the procedure for the declassification of the protocols concluded between the Public Prosecution Service and SRI, nor for the analysis of their legality. The legality of an act is found by the courts, not by CSM of Judiciary Inspectorate. The responsibility for these protocols and the decision to declassify them belong exclusively to those institutions that cannot eschew them or decline their own decision-making responsibilities in other institutions,” says Girbovan.
Therefore, according to Girbovan, CSM must ask Attorney General Augustin Lazar to immediately declassify the protocols between the Public Prosecution Service and SRI or any other intelligence services. It is only after these protocols have been made public that their possible legality can be assessed, she adds.
CSM may demand declassification of protocols with SRI. ICCJ Chief: If information regarding these protocols is real, then we demand their declassification. Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar sends CSM and JusMin protocols concluded with SRI