Romania: why was Judge Danileţ suspended?
Romania's Superior Council of Magistrates has suspended judge Cristian Danileţ from office on the grounds that he posted videos on Tiktok that were damaging to the reputation of the country's judiciary. Danileţ, who has a large following on social media, has been criticising Romania's judicial reforms and corruption in the judicial system for years.
The reformist judge has long been in the crosshairs, the Romanian service of Deutsche Welle points out:
“We don't have to agree with the opinions of Judge Cristi Danileț. ... We may also believe that judges shouldn't post political comments or morally questionable content. So what? What is being done to him now, mafia-style, must still strike us as unjust, grotesque and horrible. ... In 2012 he was a member of the Judicial Council, and his family was attacked on TV and the address of his child and mother was revealed, monstrous misinformation was spread about his parents and daughter, there was false talk of houses and wealth, even though he lived in a small apartment. ... How dare a small magistrate challenge the kleptocracy?”
Opulent lifestyle is the real problem
Writing in Libertatea, columnist Costi Rogozanu discusses the argument Danileţ used in his defence:
“He says that trimming his hedges and exercising in his pool belong to the sphere of his 'private life'. ... My dear Judge, welcome to real life! For years now, people have been fired in the private sector for posts on Facebook, Tiktok or Instagram. These networks don't belong to the private sphere, they belong to the public sphere, even according to already historic rulings by the Romanian courts. ... So defending yourself with reference to your 'private life' is ridiculous; please find another argument. But something in the videos represents the real core of the problem: Danileţ's everyday life. Some judges and prosecutors have a lifestyle like that of the Kardashians.”