Over 300,000 Romanians had their phones wiretapped in five years

Some 300,000 Romanians had their phones wiretapped between 2010 and September 2015, according to lawyer Radu Chirita, a professor at the Law School of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca.

The lawyer made the estimation after requesting and collecting data from all the courts in the country on phone wiretap requests in this period. While some courts answered to his requests, others didn’t, Chirita wrote on his blog.

Over 109,000 phone wiretap requests were made in almost five years (2010 – September 2015), and 102,729 were admitted. The lawyer estimated that one such request targeted an average of three people, which would mean that over 300,000 Romanians had their phones wiretapped in this period.

For example, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) received a total of 4,523 requests for wiretaps and rejected only one of them. Meanwhile, six courts of appeal in the country admitted all the requests they received, namely the ones in Cluj, Bucharest, Timisoara, Iasi, Oradea, and Pitesti.

“In total, there are 61 courts that have admitted all the requests. The record is at the Galati Tribunal, which found nothing wrong in nearly 3,000 applications,” Radu Chirita wrote.

“The fact that there are requests is one thing, what is unacceptable is that they are approved in courts one after the other, this showing that the judges have forgotten their first mission in a state of law, namely that they must protect our rights. In the interception procedure, the judge was put in place to prevent abuse in phone wiretapping, but they don’t seem to do their job. It’s a police state,” Chirita said, reports local Mediafax.

According to information on his blog, among the courts where it seems that the judges are actually examining such requests, admitting only those who are okay, there are the military courts, Pitesti Court, Bucharest District 5 Court, and Galati Court of Appeal.

Romania’s Govt. grants investigation powers to the biggest secret service, sets rules for wiretaps

Irina Popescu, [email protected]

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