How Dragnea will try to undermine Justice again, in Parliament
All public declarations made lately by the SDP leader Liviu Dragnea indicate that, if the Government refuses to help him, he will seek to act in Parliament in order to solve his Justice related problems. He is most likely to use Emergency Decree 6, adopted by the previous technocratic Government. The decree was tacitly accepted in the Senate and is now in the Chamber of Deputies awaiting vote. Any decree is voted or rejected through a law project.
Dragnea declared on Monday evening on Antena 3, a TV station close to the current administration, that the Decree will not pass and further added : « We are now working also on the effects produced by the Decree »
Tudorel Toader, the Justice Minister, declared again on Tuesday that he was not considering an amnesty and pardon emergency decree, but that he would indicate Decree 6 as a possible way of acting on amnesty and pardon. He said it would be preferable to have a law on this subject, as it would express the will of the lawmaker.
The former PM, Dacian Cioloș, publicly intervened on Realitatea TV in order to explain the reasons behind the adoption of the Decree, thereby suggesting the new angle of approach espoused by the SPD leader was also related to the problems he has in the Justice system.
”There is no problem with that Decree (…) , but tackling it offers the opportunity to find another legislative trick, specifically, a procedural trick, by which to prevent the conclusion of trials that have a negative impact and endanger the freedom of certain political figures (…). They have just realised this could be a solution for getting rid of some justice related problems. ”, declared Ciolos.
Meanwhile, certain lawyers offered their services and publicly advised the SPD on the phrasing to be introduced in the law project meant to reject Decree 6. Sergiu Andon, an attorney, explained for DCNews.ro, a website close to Dragnea, what this law should include :
”One possibility is adding a provision that allows for the introduction of a request for a trial revision by those who are interested to do so. Therefore, it is not up to the State to review all the relevant case files, because the whole system would be choked. Upon request by those interested, there would be the possibility, within a certain delay, to open a revision procedure concerning sentences pronounced, and by invoking this procedure, the relevant court could analyze this case file, thereby evaluating how far the participation of the Romanian Secret Service has influenced the decision. It is not complicated.”
Beginning of August 2018 the Justice Minister announced that after the summer holidays, he would propose to the Government an emergency decree which would add new reasons for the revision of definitive sentences so that those indicted on the basis of protocols signed by Courts with the secret services can present themselves before a judge anew.
Călin Popescu Tăriceanu (head of ALDE, the minor partner of the ruling coalition) restated this idea, claiming it is a « good and wise decision », allowing for the reopening of the files with definitive sentences.
Liviu Dragnea seems to be getting ready for this future juridical set-up, which would be very much to his advantage. The Centre for Media Investigations has revealed that on August 23, 2018, Liviu Dragnea has asked the Judicial Inspectorate to check all of the three penal case files opened on his name by the Anticorruption Agency, claiming that for each and every one of them prosecutors have used a protocol signed with the Secret Service in 2009.
A small remark. Liviu Dragnea can add in the aforementioned law project whatever he wishes, including amnesty and pardon, but he will run into the same obstacle as for the change of the Penal Codes : entry into force will take time. Parliamentary procedures require a lot of time. A law project first goes to the Presidency, who can reject it, contest in the Constitutional Court etc. The whole process can take a few months.
Yet, Liviu Dragnea is pushing for a quick solution. He needs to solve his penal problems as soon as possible, especially bearing in mind that the Party is losing patience. This being said, the main objective of the SDP leader remains getting the Government to adopt an emergency decree on amnesty and pardon.
For various reasons, Viorica Dăncilă, the PM, does not appear to be open to cross this red line, and neither is the Justice Minister. Despite his utmost obedience and devotion to the cause of destroying the Justice system, Tudorel Toader refuses to dance to Dragnea’s tune, reason for which the latter would gladly get rid of him at the helm of the Ministry of Justice.
This being said, the intentions behind changing the Constitution in the Justice area remain uncertain.
Liviu Dragnea, SDP leader, declared on August 13 for Antena 3 that ”we intend to start gathering signatures in order to change the Constitution exactly on the subject you are mentioning” ; he was asked if he was considering a possible referendum on the subject of justice. No one in SDP has provided any further details and neither did he.
At the moment, this is how the SDP leader stands: lacking immediately applicable solutions to his penal problems, ready to act in Parliament in case more laborious solutions exist, with an increasing number of Party voices openly contesting his authority, and trying to cover his loss of clout through new promises that soon he will control the National Anticorruption Agency and the Secret Services.
The only certainty is that all the dynamite currently lying at the foundations of the judicial system will explode sooner or later. It is hard to say whether Dragnea will withstand the internal attacks on him or not, but all his actions have weakened the judicial system to such an extent that the engine that was working full blast two years ago, almost came to a grinding halt.
The big question is whether he will succeed in blowing the system up in order to save himself . We do not have an answer to this question yet. In any case, the day when the explosion which will carry all the SPD’s penal case files away will occur, the party members will no longer need Liviu Dragnea ; they will get rid of him and will, very cynically, scapegoat him for destroying the justice system. He is perfectly aware of this state of facts.
Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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