DNA: Amendments to Penal Code will decriminalize countless offences
Assessment has been sent on Friday to the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
Articol de Sergiu Şteţ, 06 Iulie 2018, 18:20
Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate carried out an assessment of the impact that the amendments to the Criminal Code will have on the investigations, in case they come into force.
"Following the model of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, amendments to the Criminal Code were adopted in Parliament without taking into account the observations and proposals made by the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) and by the professional associations of judges and prosecutors, without consultation and a real collaboration with the judicial institutions in charge with application of the criminal law", National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) states in a press release.
The adoption of the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice would result in the decriminalization of some wide categories of offences which are currently sanctioned by the criminal law and which have a significant effect on the social values protected by law. The consequence would be that prosecutors would be forced to close numerous cases as a result of reaching the statute of limitations.
Thus, the offence of abuse of office would be worded as follows: “the offence of a civil servant who, while performing his/her professional responsibilities, refuses to carry out an act or carries it out by violating the express provisions of a law, emergency ordinance or government ordinance for the purpose of obtaining for himself/herself, a spouse, a family member or a relative up to and including the second degree of kinship, a material benefit and thereby causing a clear and effective damage greater than the equivalent of a minimum wage or causing a violation of the legal non-patrimonial rights or interests of an individual or legal entity, a violation definitively ascertained by an act of the competent body, shall be punished with imprisonment from 2 to 5 years or with a fine”.
Currently, the offence of abuse of office is worded as follows: “the offence of the civil servant who, while performing his/her professional responsibilities, fails to carry out an act or carries it out faultily (i.e. it is carried out in violation of the law – according to the Decision 405/2016 of the Constitutional Court of Romania) thus causing a damage or violating the legitimate rights or interests of an individual or a legal entity, shall be punishable by no less than 2 and no more than 7 years of imprisonment and the ban from exercising the right to hold a public office”.
The analysis of the National Anticorruption Directorate also shows as follows:
• The fact that it becomes a mandatory condition for the offence to be committed by the civil servant for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself/herself or someone close to him/her restricts greatly the scope of the offence.
• The requirement for the damage to have been definitively ascertained by an act of the competent judicial body further restricts the potential scope of the offence and violates several constitutional provisions.
• The reducing of the punishment limits provided for the offence will result in a significant reduction of the statute of limitation terms for criminal liability, from 8 years to 5 years.
DNA announces that the assessment has been sent on Friday to the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.