What Tudorel Toader knows
The former prosecutor in Panciu knows, since the time he was investigating petty crimes, that with time, evidence becomes obsolete, that witnesses start forgetting things, some die, while others leave the country and that it is quite the challenge to retry a case years after the facts, and after a final sentencing has been issued.
The professor of Criminal Law knows, that all those who have been sentenced by the five-judge panel, had the option to an appeal, within 30 days of receiving notice of their sentencing, had they wanted to challenge the eventual procedural inconsistencies (i.e., the random selection of judges at the high court). And the fact that they didn’t catch a legal technicality later observed by the Supreme Court, it doesn’t mean that their right to a fair trial has been denied, but it merely says they didn’t make use of all the legal avenues at their disposal.
The professor of European Law knows that an entire body of European jurisprudence and recommendations concerning re-victimizing the victims of crims, by putting them face-to-face with their aggressors, again, is to be avoided. How will this be achieved, if thousands of cases that had already been issued a final judgment, will put face-to-face, once more, the victims and their assailants?
The former Supreme Court(CCR) judge knows that the 30 days limit for an appeal for annulment has the purpose of ensuring the security of legal relations in a state governed by the rule of law, in order the prevent the endless retrial of a case. The former CCR judge surely is aware of what his colleagues wrote in Decision 501 of 2016:
„The Court finds that the conditional formulation of the appeal for annulment – an extraordinary avenue of attack, of retraction – by observing a deadline for its introduction, has as its purpose the proper administration of justice, the protection of the procedural safeguards of the parties, and, on the other hand, the authority of final decisions, the security of legal relations established by final judgments. ”
The doctor in Criminal Proceedings Law certainly knows that hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases on which the Romanian State had used-up significant resources, will no longer be retried due to the statute of limitations. The doctor also knows that many on the long list of politicians, businessmen, magistrates and lawmakers presented by G4Media.ro, in front with Liviu Dragnea, will walk free.
The Minister of Justice knows that, by extending the term of appeal for annulment, he knowingly renounces the recovery of hundreds of millions in damages. The Association of Judges has calculated around 2 billion euros in losses. Will he begin writing-off hundreds on millions while the government is cutting down funds for investments and development?
Nota bene! The government seems ready to give up colossal sums of money at a time when it still didn’t put out a budget for the current year due to lack of funds.
The Rector knows that any law student will ask what the emergency is if he decides to issue an emergency decree that will blow-up all the final sentencing decisions laid-down by the five-judge panel since 2014, when the Supreme Court decision only applies to those who appealed within the 30 days limit period from when the final decision has been communicated. In the case of the others, there is no justification or legal basis to extend the term for appeal, not even in the case of the five-judge panel, let alone the cases tried by the three-judge panels or for those tried in the lower courts.
And if you, as a former prosecutor, as a former professor of Criminal and European law, as a doctor in Criminal Proceedings, as Justice Minister and Rector of the Faculty of Law know already all these, why would you promote an emergency decree that will arbitrarily and unjustifiably extend the time limit for the appeal for annulment?
Why would you embarrass yourself, and most of all Romania, with all the EU justice ministers present in your country? Wasn’t the message sent by Donald Tusk, the president of the EU Council, clear enough, when after a meeting in Brussels with premier Dancila he wrote on Twitter: „Maybe I’m old fashioned but I still believe that it’s for judges, not politicians to decide who’s guilty and who’s innocent”?
I don’t know if in the government meeting on Friday Tudorel Toaderm will put-forth the emergency decree much-needed by Dragnea, Tariceanu and a whole slew of other politicians. It would be quite extraordinary to pass such a decree only a day after meeting with all the EU justice ministers, and while Romania is at the helm of the EU. But I do know that, whether he’ll do it today, the next week, or any other time, from all of Tudorel Toader’s titles, the history of the Romanian justice system will only remember one: that of defender of the crooks, who revoked Romania’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, Laura Condruta Kovesi who has since become the runner-up for the position of Chief Europen Prosecutor.
This badge, the defender of the crooks, will remain stamped on his forehead for the rest of his career as a prominent jurist in the service of criminals.
Traducerea: Ovidiu Harfas
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