Romania's justice minister moves to dismantle Special Section after Venice Commission comments
Romanian minister of justice Stelian Ion, a representative of the reformist USR PLUS, announced that he would initiate the procedures in the ruling coalition for summoning joint sitting of the Chambers to dismantle the controversial Special Section.
The announcement comes after the Romanian Government received the recommendations issued by the Venice Commission on the issue. According to minister Ion, the Commission recommends unconditional dismantling of the Special Section, with the functions transferred to the national anticorruption directorate (DNA) and with no other amendments attached.
Under the compromise solution negotiated by the ruling coalition, the Special Section would have been dismantled - but the magistrates would have been investigated only with the prior consent of the magistrates' body CSM.
The controversial amendment, reportedly promoted by the ethnic Hungarians' party UDMR, has never really been accepted by USR PLUS - for the 'immunity' provided to magistrates. In fact, the amendment generated tensions within the ruling coalition as Ludovic Orban - the leader of the senior ruling Liberal Party (PNL) argued against the notifications sent to the Venice Commission - a detail that minister Ion hasn't forgotten.
"The opinion received today shows that notifying the Venice Commission was the right decision. If we had continued with the project in the Chamber of Deputies, we would have maintained that mechanism criticized by the Commission (immunity of magistrates). I believe that [Liberal] president Orban was wrong in this regard, and the Venice Commission's referral was correct," justice minister Ion said, according to G4media.ro.
He also said that "he expects his coalition colleagues to keep their promise and observe the ruling program."
(Photo source: Gov.ro)