Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Friday that he will meet PM Viorica Dancila at the beginning of this week, to discuss and give “the final form” to the notification to be submitted to the Constitutional Court, after President Klaus Iohannis rejected the request to dismiss Laura Codruta Kovesi from the position of the Chief-Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
“We are working on drafting the notification to the Court. We, at the Ministry, gave it a form that we have to adjust, because it is normal to relate also to the report issued by him. We will include his arguments, too. I will meet the Prime-Minister on Monday and I will give the final form to the draft notification of CCR” Tudorel Toader stated.
Being asked if the arguments invoked in the dismissal request were subjective, as President Klaus Iohannis said, given that he referred to his own activity as a prosecutor in the report containing the reasons related to the dismissal, Tudorel Toader answered: “He (President Klaus Iohannis – e.n.), as any other Romanian citizen, has the same right to free speech”.
After the President rejected the dismissal request of the DNA head, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced that the Justice Ministry will notify the Constitutional Court on the President’s refusal, appreciating that the head of state “doesn’t have the legal empowerment or the functional competences to assess the professional and managerial activity carried out by the DNA Chief-Prosecutor”.
President Klaus Iohannis commented on Wednesday on the decision to notify the Constitutional Court after he refused to dismiss the DNA Chief-Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, saying that there is no ground or conflict between the Government and President to justify the notification of CCR. “We can understand that the Justice Minister is personally dissatisfied because his dismissal request wasn’t accepted, but there’s a long way from here to a constitutional conflict” Iohannis stated.
“Justice Ministry will send to the specialized committee its point of view on the draft laws amending the Criminal Codes by Wednesday at latest “
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Friday that he received on the same day the draft laws amending the Criminal Codes, and the Justice Ministry will send a point of view to the parliamentary specialized committee by Wednesday at latest.
“As you know, Justice Ministry sent the draft laws harmonizing the CCR decisions with the European directives, and the specialized committee integrated them in a larger draft law that we received today” Toader stated.
He said that the Justice Ministry will issue a point of view by Wednesday at latest: “We will discuss until Tuesday, and by Wednesday at latest we will have a point of view of the Justice Ministry that we’ll send to the specialized committee”.
The specialized parliamentary committee for the Laws on Justice decided on Thursday that the general debates on amending the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code will start on May 2. The opposition claimed that the amendments on the Criminal Codes are “dedicated” to Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu. But the Chairman of the Committee, former Justice Minister Florin Iordache, stated that these amendments are designed “to normalize life in Romania”.
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday that some of the proposals on amending the Criminal Codes are absolutely unacceptable, and that “it is inadmissible that some of them are dedicated to people who currently are decision-makers in Parliament”.
“Some of these amendments are necessary, because we need a certain change of the legislation, a certain harmonization with the CCR decisions, and even with the European legislation in come points. These proposals are good, and I believe the Parliament will process them and will include these issues. Other proposals that have been made, I don’t want to give details in these circumstances, are totally unacceptable, and I believe that the parliamentary discussion will reveal which proposals must continue to be discussed and which of them must be eliminated from the discussion. However, there is one principle that I think everybody must understand – it is inadmissible that some amendments are dedicated to certain people who are temporarily decision-makers in Parliament” President Klaus Iohannis stated at the end of the meeting he had with the Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni at the Cotroceni Palace.
The draft law amending the Criminal Code provides that issuing, approving or adopting normative acts is not the crime of favoring the perpetrator in order to prevent or hamper investigations in a criminal case, establishing the criminal liability, the execution of a sentence or a measure involving deprivation of liberty. Public statements made by public authorities or public servants before a final conviction is decided, by which person is deemed guilty, is punished by 6 months to 3 years in prison. In order not to be punished, the briber or the perpetrator must denounce the deed no later than 6 months since it was committed and before the start of the criminal prosecution. The article related to dereliction of duty is repealed.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code, information can be publicly revealed during criminal prosecution only if it justifies a public interest and suspects cannot be presented with handcuffs or other means of immobilization likely to make the public believe that they are guilty for any crime. The suspect or defendant can participate in any criminal prosecution action or in any hearing, upon his request. Hearing a person cannot last more than 6 of 24 hours. Data obtained from a computer system or from a storage system of computer data that is not related to the crime for which criminal prosecution is conducted and for which the search was authorized in that cause will be definitively deleted from the copies that were made, and they cannot be used in other criminal cases in order to prove other deeds for which no search warrant was issued.
The law provisions are going to be applied also to the decisions issued until its entry into force.
Tudorel Toader about Alina Bica: Justice Ministry is not the one that allows a defendant to leave the country, and the Ministry is not the one that takes the banning measures. We must see if everyone has done their job
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said that he didn’t personally receive, and he didn’t hear that the Justice Ministry received any document related to Alina Bica’s request to receive the status of a political refugee, and stressed that Justice Ministry is not the one that allows a defendant to leave the country, and the Ministry is not the one that takes the banning measures, but the courts are, and the Ministry of Interior Affairs is the one that supervises the observance of these measures. He said that in this case we must see if everyone has done their job.
“I didn’t personally receive, and I didn’t hear that the Ministry received such a request. The Justice Ministry does not allow a defendant to leave the country, the Justice Ministry is not the one that takes or removes the banning measures, it is not the one that allows a defendant to leave the country. This is the courts’ job, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs is the one that supervises if the measure is applied. Knowing the competences, you have to see if everyone has done their job. We’ll see on Monday morning what documents we received, and we’ll talk” Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Friday.
Former head of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Alina Bica requested in January the statute of a political refugee in Costa Rica, as her lawyer announced on Friday at the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ), at the last hearing in the ANRP case (e.n. – the National Authority for the Real Estates Restitution) in which she is judged together with businessman Dorin Cocos.
According to Digi 24, her lawyer said that Alina Bica requested in January the statute of a political refugee in Costa Rica and she requested to be heard by videoconference.
One week ago, at the last hearing in the Bute Gala case, the lawyer of the former Tourism Minister Elena Udrea (a very good friend of Alina Bica) also announced that she requested political asylum in Costa Rica and asked to be heard by videoconference, but the court appreciated that the presented documents are not relevant and rejected her request.
Bica was already convicted in two criminal cases, but the decisions are not final. In November 2016 she was sentenced to four years in prison for favoring the perpetrator, and in January 2017 she was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison for favoring the perpetrator, for intervening in order to obtain the closure of a case in which businessman Horia Simu was involved.
As for the case that reached the last hearing on Friday, the one related to the fraudulent compensation of businessman Gheorghe Stelian by the National Authority for Real Assets Restitution (ANRP), Alina Bica was sent to judgement in December 2014. At the time of the deeds, Bica was a member of the ANRP’s Central Committee for the Establishment of Compensations, along with Crinuta Dumitrean, a former head of ANRP, Sergiu Diacomatu and Remus Baciu, former vice presidents of the institution, MP Catalin Teodorescu, Dragos George Bogdan, former Vice President of ANAF, Oana Vasilescu and Lacramioara Alexandru. Gheorghe Stelian and the real estate appraiser Emil Nutu also were sent to judgement. They are accused of abuse of office for approving Gheorghe Stelian’s compensation by UR 89 million for a land in Bucharest overvalued by EUR 62 million.
Businessman Dorin Cocos (Elena Udrea’s ex-husband) was also arrested in this case, being suspected of requesting EUR 10 million from Gheorghe Stelian in order to intervene to the ANRP committee.