JusMin: Overall, coalition doesn't seem to really want Section for Justice Crimes' Investigation's disbanding

The Minister of Justice, Stelian Ion, announced that his proposal for the disbanding of the Section for the Investigation of Judicial Crimes (SIIJ), discussed in the meeting of the ruling coalition on Tuesday, was not accepted by the UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania), noting that overall, the coalition does not seem to want the disbanding of SIIJ. "The coalition, overall, does not seem to want the dismantling of SIIJ yet. I came up with a new proposal, it was reasonable, it hasn't been accepted yet. It was a proposal in the sense that, if a magistrate were investigated as a suspect or defendant by a specialized prosecutor's office - DNA [the National Anti-corruption Directorate], DIICOT [the Directorate of Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism] or the Prosecutor General's Office, the public prosecutor's offices under the courts of appeal - could request a referral of the file to another neighbouring prosecutor's office. (...) To go to a prosecutor's office within the same structure, so that we can also respect the government programme and commitments," Stelian Ion said at the end of the meeting. The Justice minister says the "UDMR doesn't want this variant" of disbanding SIIJ either. "It seems that the UDMR does not agree with any variant of the SIIJ dismantling. (...) Setting conditions at every sitting is proof that when we approved the government program, they weren't honest. The unconditional abolition of the SIIJ as it is listed in the government programme, doubled by the restoration of the DNA competence has been very clear. The UDMR concern is not so much related to SIIJ as to DNA. Under no circumstances do they want to restore the DNA competence. (...) They probably reckon that they're going to stall a lot, that maybe the SIIJ won't be disbanded very soon," the minister said. He reaffirmed that "Romania will have to dismantle SIIJ and respect the commitment it has always had in recent years, especially with regard to the fight against corruption, which must continue". "And reinventing SIIJ in another form, elsewhere, is nothing more than a weakening of the fight against corruption, something that will not be accepted by the European Commission. The consequences will be international and will come mainly from the European Commission. (...) It's complicated to govern justice with UDMR, because, look, they haven't disengaged themselves from the policy they've pursued in years gone by with the PSD [the Social Democratic Party]. They share the PSD's vision of justice and continue with the same ideas. I was waiting for a change of optics or at least a compromise, a waiver. (...) I don't agree with what UDMR says. It further invokes the fact that they have not been summoned to discussions on the laws of justice. Nothing of the sort," Stelian Ion claimed. Asked if he had the support of the prime minister and the PNL on the disbanding of the SIIJ, the Justice minister said that things "seriously" ground to a halt in Parliament. "And here it seems to me that political will has diminished greatly. (...) The PNL supports the disbanding of the SIIJ, they said it. (...) My personal expectation was not so much towards the Prime Minister, but especially towards Parliament, I expected more involvement, in the sense that it is not enough to say that you agree with any variant of the dismantling of SIIJ, but an active involvement in the sense of convincing the partners," Stelian Ion stressed.AGERPRES(RO - author: Catalina Matei, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Maria Voican, editor: Simona Iacob)

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