Romania's Senate adopted on April 17 the draft amendments to the Criminal Code, in the form passed by the justice committee only one day before, Hotnews.ro reported. The Chamber of Deputies will give the final vote on these amendments next week.
The draft bill contains several controversial provisions that complicate the prosecutors' job. Among others, the changes shorten the prescription periods for some crimes, abolish the public authority negligence liability, and reduce to one year the period in which people with knowledge about criminal deeds can make denouncements.
The opposition accused the ruling coalition that the amendments are aimed at preventing the prosecution and a final sentence in the case of Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea.
Senators adopted the bill with 75 votes in favor, 32 votes against, and one abstention.
The senior ruling party PSD has been pressuring the Government to pass these changes by emergency ordinance, to have them enforced sooner, but the justice minister refused to promote the ordinance despite promising to do so earlier this year.
The Parliament also adopted these amendments last year, as part of a wider initiative to change the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, but president Klaus Iohannis challenged the bills at the Constitutional Court, which ruled that many of the changes were unconstitutional. Thus, the ruling party decided to adopt only those changes that passed the Constitutional Court's assessment.
After justice minister Tudorel Toader refused to promote the ordinance, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said the Parliament would pass them in an emergency procedure. However, president Klaus Iohannis can delay signing the bill and challenge it again at the Constitutional Court.
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