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EC report on Romania Justice threatens safeguarding clause activation

de Radu Big     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 30 ianuarie 2008, 15:30 English

The preliminary report on the recent evolutions in the Romanian Justice system, which may reach the European commissioners on Wednesday, notes in a firm voice that Romania regressed since June 2007. The report may even recommend the activation of the safeguarding clause, the main worries being related to the anti-graft campaign and the recent modifications on the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law. Romania faces a much rougher criticism than Bulgaria, sources in Brussels say.

The main issues in the report are:

- The anti-graft campaign: one of the four benchmarks established by the EC referred to Romania continuing to conduct professional and impartial investigations in high-level corruption cases. The report shows that the investigations regressed, many files being returned by courts to the prosecutors, in order to complete the evidence trail. Others were returned due to non-Constitutional exception clauses issued by the Constitutional Court and even more files were blocked by procedure vices invoked by lawyers and accepted in the High court of Causation and Justice (ICCJ). EC noted that none of the high-level corruption cases are currently in court.

The blockage of the files referring to eight former and in office ministers, the still not opened National Integrity Agency (an institution that should be already functioning and enabled to verify the wealth of dignitaries), the modifications of the Criminal Law, which may have a huge negative impact on the efficiency of all investigations - all are major issues that may trigger the safeguarding clause activation. Commissioners will discuss the preliminary report this week and, in case there are no objections, it will be published on Friday.

Still, objections are expected from the Bulgarian and the Romanian representatives. 
























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