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  Criminal Law changes: Senators maintain suspect approval for search warrants and prosecutors can not tap phones

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 21 februarie 2008, 12:11 English | Top News

The Senate maintained some of the most controversial changes brought to the Criminal Law, although some were eliminated. In October 2007, when the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Code were voted in the House of Deputies, several Western embassies in Bucharest expressed their concern. Civil society representatives claim that some problems are still unsolved: searches still require approval from the person under investigation and prosecutors lost their right to issue emergency phone tap orders for 48 hours.

According to the new Criminal Law, prosecutors must notify the suspect in case they want to search his house or his office, looking for evidence. Only in case the suspect refuses, prosecutors may demand a search warrant from a judge. Imagine what a drug dealer would do with 10 kilos of cocaine between the moment he is notified and the moment the warrant is issued.

In phone tapping regulations, the Senate maintained the shape suggested by the deputies. In all EU countries, prosecutors may issue temporary phone tapping warrants in case of emergency, valid from 2 to 5 days, before asking a judge for a warrant. The article was first included in the law, then eliminated by deputies, and remained eliminated in the Senate approved law. 

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