Alleged former Communist secret police informer wins trial, putting CNSAS under threat, making headlines in Romania

Publish date: 04-02-2008
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"The Securitate won again" daily Evenimentul Zilei announces; "Securitate officers, sleep tight!" daily Romania Libera concludes; "Securitate is no longer illegal due to Felix" daily Cotidianul says: these are the headlines of the day in Romania.
The papers are commenting the news that Conservative leader Dan Voiculescu, pointed at as an informer of former Securitate the communist-era secret police, user of the "source nickname" Felix, managed to sue the National Council for the Study of Securitate archives (CNSAS) won the trial at the Constitutional Court, where it was decided that the CNSAS activity is anti-Constitutional. The decision effectively leads to the dissolution of the CNSAS once the court decision is published in the Official Gazette.

Voiculescu, a Communist-era international trade official who after the fall of the Ceausescu regime in 1989 became a businessman and politician, submitted the claims of the CNSAS unconstitutionality against three articles Law 187, online agency HotNews notes. He has denied the charges repeatedly that he was involved with the activities of the Securitate and challenged the constitutionality of the CNSAS in court. All Constitutional Court members voted in favor of the decision.

The CNSAS functioning law was challenged for the fact that it subordinated the institution to the Parliament and because CNSAS could act as an extraordinary court. Both aspects were found illegal, daily newspaper Cotidianul adds.According to court sources, a key player in the decision, Ioan Muraru, strongly argued in favor of Dan Voiculescu, saying that the "Constitutional Court has to drop this unconstitutional venom from Romanian legislation"."CNSAS cannot and should not play the role of a court of justice like it does now, but it should instead be an administrator of existing documents so that the public opinion could decide in an informed manner", stated Voiculescu, adding that in his opinion CNSAS has seriously hurt his image and the image of his family.

According to the Romanian Constitution, the Parliament has to change the law within 45 days since the Constitutional Court decision, so that it comes in line with the fundamental law. In case a solution isn't found in the above mentioned term, that may lead to a completely new law and CNSAS will be either shut, or it will become a simple storage facility for the former Securitate files, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

The decision of the Court refers to some basic articles of the law which regulate the statute of the CNSAS, the designation of the members of the Council, the way in which the quality of Securitate agent or collaborator is established, and the procedure for contesting a decision. The legal experts already referred to CNSAS using the past tense, daily Nine O'Clock marks. Basically, in this situation, the decision of the Court is sent to Parliament which must modify the law in order to be constitutional.

"The arguments used yesterday by the members of the Constitutional Court went very far. The ombudsman and judge Cochinescu have allegedly said, according to sources quoted by HotNews, that "Constitution bans the extraordinary courts and limits the existence of the jurisdictions outside the judicial powers," ombudsman Ioan Muraru is cited by the paper, he backed the dismantling of CNSAS which he called an "anti-constitutional venom.

Nevertheless, Lidia Barbulescu, the President of the Superior Magistracy Council (CSM), believes that all the acts and verdicts issued by CNSAS could become null. Until now CNSAS has issued several collaboration verdicts to well known individuals - Liberal MP Mona Musca, Senior Liberal Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici, Social-Democrat MP Rodica Stanoiu and several clerics within Romanian Orthodox Church.

CNSAS member Mircea Dinescu was categorical when hearing the Court's decision yesterday: 'Romania is still living in the Ceausescu era and continues to be led by his servants and the Securitate's servants'. 'It is no hazard that the CNSAS law has been declared unconstitutional in an electoral year, given that CNSAS has two million dossiers in its custody. If they have truly declared our law unconstitutional, I will resign' Dinescu concluded, ironically stating that the resignation would not be needed if the institution is dissolved.

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