Ro­ma­nia court says pe­nal code changes un­con­sti­tu­tional

Oman Daily Observer - - EUROPE -

BUCHAREST: A num­ber of changes to Ro­ma­nia’s pe­nal code re­cently pushed through by the rul­ing So­cial Demo­cratic Party are un­con­sti­tu­tional, the coun­try’s high­est court ruled on Fri­day in a se­vere blow to the govern­ment.

The con­sti­tu­tional court’s nine judges unan­i­mously re­jected about 60 amend­ments to the pe­nal code that have al­ready come un­der fire from the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion in Brus­sels and Ro­ma­nian Pres­i­dent Klaus Io­han­nis.

Crit­ics ar­gue that some of the changes will al­low So­cial Demo­cratic Party leader, Liviu Drag­nea, to ask for a “re­view” of a two-year jail sen­tence he re­ceived in 2016 for elec­toral fraud.

And they sug­gest that the amend­ments will help Drag­nea es­cape prose­cu­tion in two other cases.

The EU Com­mis­sion’s Vi­cepres­i­dent, Frans Tim­mer­mans, has re­peat­edly ex­pressed his “con­cern” about some of the changes and asked clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Prime Min­is­ter Dan­cila in a let­ter sent in early Oc­to­ber.

“The com­mis­sion is closely analysing the con­form­ity of these leg­isla­tive amend­ments with EU law, in par­tic­u­lar as re­gards Ro­ma­nia’s obli­ga­tions to pro­tect the fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests of the EU and to com­ply with the EU crim­i­nal law”, Tim­mer­mans wrote in the let­ter, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

Ro­ma­nian Pres­i­dent Klaus Io­han­nis

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