National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors have dismissed the case concerning the diaspora’s vote in the 2014 presidential elections, a case in which they had asked for the criminal probe against ex-Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean to be approved by the Senate. The Senate’s rejection of the request in 2016 was one of the reasons why the criminal probe could not continue, which resulted in the case being closed.
DNA prosecutors have dismissed the case concerning the diaspora’s vote in the 2014 presidential elections, the Senate’s rejection, in June 2016, of the prosecutors’ request to approve the start of a criminal probe against Titus Corlatean – Foreign Minister at the time of the elections – being one of the reasons for the decision.
According to the DNA, “on 15 November 2018, anticorruption prosecutors ordered the case dismissed, in line with Article 16, Paragraph 1, Letter b, thesis 1 (“the guilty act is not stipulated by criminal law”), and Letter e, final thesis (“another condition stipulated by law, required to set the criminal probe in motion, is missing”), of the Criminal Procedure Code.”
“On 21 June 2016, via Decision no.88/2016, the Senate rejected the DNA’s request to start the criminal probe concerning one person – high-level official, member of Government and Senator – against whom there was reasonable suspicion that he committed the aforementioned offences,” the DNA explains, referring to Titus Corlatean, former Senator and then-Foreign Affairs Minister.
“In these conditions, it was noted that a legal requirement to set in motion the criminal action was absent, a fact that also hampers the continuation of the criminal probe and calls for the dismissal of the case,” the DNA points out.
Thus, even though the investigation revealed that the way in which the ministry led by Corlatean organised the elections in the diaspora hindered the voting process for Romanians living abroad, prosecutors were not able to continue the criminal probe, which resulted in the dismissal of the case.
Likewise, DNA prosecutors took into account a Constitutional Court decision according to which a legislative policy option cannot be investigated by judiciary bodies.
The DNA had opened an investigation into the diaspora’s vote in the 2014 presidential elections. Titus Corlatean – Foreign Affairs Minister at the time, an office he resigned from between the two presidential election rounds, after very large queues formed outside polling centres set up in European countries, the Romanians living abroad being dissatisfied with the fact that they were unable to vote because of the deficient way the voting was organised – was initially subpoenaed as a witness in this case.
In 2016, the DNA asked the Romanian Senate to approve the start of a criminal probe against Titus Corlatean, for abuse of office and hindering the exercise of voting rights, offences he allegedly committed as Foreign Affairs Minister. The Senate rejected the request on 21 June 2016.