How far will the erosion of Romania's judiciary go?
The Romanian parliament on Monday evening passed a controversial amendment to the code of criminal procedure. Critics fear that it will favour the head of the governing social-democratic PSD, Liviu Dragnea, who is being investigated on corruption charges. The Romanian media are highly critical.
A unique spectacle of the corrupt
The legislation is yet another attempt by the ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals to legalise corruption, author Ancelin Roseti complains in his blog with Adevărul:
“For 18 months now we have been witnessing a globally unique 'spectacle' in which the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition has continuously amended laws and proposed new ones aimed at destroying justice rather than strengthening it. In the name of 'democracy' and for the 'good' of the people these so-called politicians are trying to legalise theft, legitimise corruption and dismantle the judiciary. ... We cannot rule out the possibility that we will soon hear that - in order to get to the root of the evil - they have decided to stop assessing laws on the basis of their honesty.”
Criminals will have it easy
Columnist Ioana Ene Dogioiu describes the dramatic impact of the new laws in Ziare:
“In future criminal prosecution proceedings will be limited to one year after which the investigation will be closed. But in investigations where the perpetrators are unknown - whether it's murder, robbery, rape or paedophilia - years can pass before a clue or a coincidence leads to the perpetrator being caught. ... Or for example when the only proof of a crime is a video on a smartphone, in future this will no longer be admitted as evidence. So if a neighbour films your vehicle being destroyed you can keep the video as a souvenir but it won't be much good for anything else. ... If in reaction to this attack on justice the EU decides to take a tougher line, we'll at least be made to feel this in the form of cuts in EU funding.”