The final text of the article that redefines abuse of office in the new criminal code breaches the dispositions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, according to Romania’s General Prosecutor’s office.
The new definition narrows too much the scope of the crime, the institution argued, according to local Mediafax.
The special parliamentary committee in charge with changing the justice laws adopted on Monday, July 2, its proposals for changing the criminal code, which include redefining abuse of office. The Senate already adopted these changes on Tuesday and the Chamber of Deputies is next to vote.
If the new definition for abuse of office remains unchanged, many corruption cases currently under investigation or sent to court will be closed and the suspects will be cleared of charges. Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea and former deputy PM Sevil Shaiddeh are among those who may benefit from the new provisions. Over 2,000 people were sent to court for abuse of office between 2014 and 2017, the damages in these cases totaling over RON 4 billion (EUR 860 million).
The new definition for abuse of office incriminates only the public servants who break the law while in office to get material benefits for themselves of for close relatives. However, this is rarely the case nowadays, when most public officials use intermediaries and don’t receive any direct benefits from abusing their powers.
(photo source: Adobe Stock)