”Here, in Romania, first they arrest you and only afterwards search for evidence.”
Marcel Tundrea (1950-2007)
Marcel Tundrea was in the nineties the victim of a judicial error. He spent twelve years in prison convicted for murder and rape and his release happened not long before his premature death. Nobody can predict how many such mistakes that their justice made in the last decade Romanians will discover sometime later. None seems to care also. An objective is clear anyway – Romania has to prove her justice reforms only with corrupt politicians imprisoned. CVM recent reports didn’t look beyond yet. The veil of fighting high – level corruption is quite blinding. Romanian citizens need a justice that is a professional one not because gets politicians in prison but because various ordinary causes are solved properly and rightfully. The problems presented below are merely a short depiction of what silently happened in last years Romania. Not only the rich and famous persons involved in state affairs made abuses of law but also those inside the law system not to forget politicians that appear to be “immaculate champions” of any anti-corruption struggle. Let analyze data published by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. In 2011 they had to solve 6615 dossiers but failed to adopt a resolution in half of them (3302). Common sense says time is needed to gather evidence. But how can be sure a Romanian citizen that this is the only explanation. What if there are other reasons? Nobody knows how fervent and passionate prosecutors are about the files they have on their desks or drawers. Nobody knows if they use the right criteria to decide the list of priorities. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate was praised by Brussels although an additional question must be asked. In 2012 the National Anti-Corruption Directorate declared roughly 90 % rate of success (works validated by Courts). Checking their arithmetic using the available figures the result doesn’t seem so convincing. But Romanian judiciary can also be described by other dossiers and events that allow a frightening thought that justice might have been used selectively as a political weapon. Taking those into account and finding solutions should become not only Romania’s judicial system imperative goal but EC’s as well.
1. Last autumn a young Japanese student Yurika Mauno, aged 20 was murdered near Bucharest. Because she was a foreigner and there were a lot of media reports everybody promptly found out who the killer was. His name is Vlad Nicolae and wasn’t prior arrested although there were suspicions that he committed before 4-5 other violent crimes. At least one prosecutor, Dunca Wilhelm asked for Vlad Nicolae only a thing that he has not to leave his domicile town for 30 days. A report was filled at the Superior Council of the Magistracy in this particular case but there is no decision yet. In Romania might be that many other non-prosecuted and therefore non-convicted felons are free on the streets because the state institutions praised or not in CVM reports don’t function well. Such situations seem to draw some attention in certain conditions, mainly if the victim is from another country. Because the focus on reforming Romanian judicial system was on corruption, a strange phenomenon is present here. White collar criminals must certainly be arrested to set and example for the rest of the society, to be questioned and not allowed to influence witnesses but violent felons don’t have to obey the same rule. But a custom that is quite concerning settles quietly: first detain and then look for evidence. There may be some judicial errors in prosecuting and convicting in other countries but in Romania such a case appears to indicate another trend, that of a justice that is not professional yet.
2. Last summer in Romanian took place the referendum for president’s Basescu suspension. For some it looked like an unbearable surprise that so many Romanians voted for him to leave office (over seven million people). That thought might be the cause of some unprecedented huge actions organized by local prosecution offices under General Prosecutor’s coordination and by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’s prosecutors. It seemed they wanted to investigate wrongly cast ballots. But the way those were conducted is also an example of trespassing over legal procedures in last year’s Romania. No European guardian appeared to notice that as well, after reacting fiercely to other bending of the rules when denounced by Constitutional Court. What was illegal? People living in rural areas woke up seized one morning wherever they were in there houses, in the streets or attending religious services at their churches. Local prosecution offices didn’t present them summons as they should’ve had according to Civil Code Procedures and they didn’t know if they were considered witnesses or defendants although prosecutors showed them Holy Bibles which cannot be used in both situations. After media’s response the second wave of local prosecutor and the first of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate investigators begun to respect normal lawful proceedings and asked villagers to come to local Police Stations. In such cases when law enforcing officers do not respect the rules themselves is there a problem if media broadcasts reports?
3. According to CVM recent reports the European Commission seemed to be pleased by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate evolution after Romania’s accession to the European Union. Daniel Morar was in office even before 2007. Unknown at that time in Brussels he begun to become a public figure in Romania soon after he was appointed as head-prosecutor because of the Fleet Dossier. In that particular case president Basescu (among others) was indicted for selling in some questionable conditions many Romanian ships. Soon after Daniel Morar was appointed an unexpected turn took place. Before Daniel Morar being in office experts found a prejudice of 300 million $, afterwards Daniel Morar asked for another appraisement of the damage and, surprise, the result that came in was zero. Nobody requested a third opinion about such a huge difference. Because of his new expert report and of an ill-signed document which Daniel Morar didn’t correct, the Fleet Dossier was quashed and all 79 suspects were considered free of any charges, except president Basescu. He had to wait to conclude his term because of his immunity. Anyway the case was getting closer to prescription.
There should have been another investigation regarding president Basescu about buying and selling some land with questionable prices. The specialized institution, National Agency for Money Laundry filed it with this number S/IV/1014/17.09.2004. Later at a journalist request they declared that such a case is classified information. Daniel Morar’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate didn’t seem to react to any newspaper article related. A mention must be made, if someone uses the search engine on the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’ s official site doesn’t find any press release about President Basescu’s situation after 2003. Last summer when referendum was on course some rumor surfaced. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate which appeared to have investigated that money laundry case decided not to prosecute president Basescu but no official information came from them.