Romanian president waits court decision before endorsing investigations against ministers

Publish date: 03-12-2007
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President Traian Basescu is pending the Constitutional Court's decision on the presidential commission which starts probes into ministers' activities before deciding whether some of the current ministers will face criminal investigations, according to an interview given to Hotnews-BBC.

Romania's Constitutional Court in late November said the presidential commission which starts probes into ministers' activities is non-constitutional. Basescu said the court only issued a release with its stance on the issue and this does not count as an official act.

Basescu emphasized the act of starting a criminal investigation against a minister is a core attribute of the president and no other body can make such decisions. The president declined to comment whether it is legal for the president to have such a right.

Constitutional Court's decision to declare non-constitutional both the presidential commission investigating ministers and the Cabinet decree which locked it up, leaves the president alone to decide whether a minister should be the subject of an investigation.

Moreover, the president can suspend a minister if he considers the official broke the law or the constitution.

The court's ruling bans the set-up of another commission within the president's office.

Last week, the court hashed over a non-constitutionality exception pointed by the ombudsman who contested the terms allowing investigations of the government members as well as the set-up of the respective commission.

The presidential commission ceased activity on October 4 after the Cabinet adopted an emergency decree at the proposal of Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu. The ordinance also stipulated the Magistrates' Council (CSM) was to submit for approval to President Traian Basescu a new commission within a month.

The commission was doing some work on files of Justice Minister Chiuariu, Labor Minister Paul Pacuraru and former ministers Miron Mitrea, Adrian Nastase, Zsolt Nagy, Victor Babiuc, Codrut Seres and Decebal Traian Remes.


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