Venice Commission talks special prosecution section SIIJ with Romanian lawmakers
The Romanian minister of justice, Cătălin Predoiu, confirmed that he had an online meeting with representatives of the Venice Commission, on February 23, for consultations regarding the Government's project for the abolition of the special prosecution section for the Investigation of Judicial Crimes (SIIJ), G4media.ro reported.
Predoiu said that he did not think the fourth opinion to be issued by the Venice Commission would be different from the first three given previously on plans to disband the SIIJ.
Opposition party USR argues, however, that the draft bill inked by the Government is breaching the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
"I do not think the opinion, the fourth opinion, will say anything other than the previous three. We had them at the ministry, we studied them, and from that list of objectives, we tried to tick all the objectives, the main one being the abolition of the SIIJ. We tried to address the problem of specialization [of prosecutors] with the selection of prosecutors, so I don't see how the fourth can say anything different than what the previous three said," Cătălin Predoiu explained.
On the morning of February 24, more talks are scheduled between the presidents of the Parliament's legal committee Iulia Scântei (Liberal, PNL) and Laura Vicol (Social Democrat, PSD) and the representatives of the Venice Commission.
The rounds of talks occur at a time when the reformist opposition party USR criticizes fiercely the ruling coalition for the project that, they claim, is just transforming the controversial prosecution body SIIJ while not abolishing it. The magistrates will still not be subject to investigations carried by the main anti-corruption bodies in Romania, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) as anybody else, USR stresses.
(Photo: Octav Ganea/ Inquam Photos)