Romania Moves to Lift Ban on Courts Using Secret Service Wiretappings
Political analysts have criticised moves in Romania to make wiretappings carried out by the secret services usable once again as evidence in corruption cases.
The moves comes as Romania is to receive billions of euros from the EU funds, which are seen as likely to boost the temptation of corruption and embezzlement.
On Tuesday, the ruling parties, within the Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, backed an option proposed by the Justice Ministry to make wiretappings by the Romanian Information Service, SRI, usable as evidence in such cases.
The Legal Committee of the Chamber abandoned all the amendments previously adopted by parliament's upper chamber, the Senate.
The EU-funded recovery and resilience plan comprises 107 investment measures and 64 reforms. These actions will be supported by an estimated €14.24 billion in grants and €14.94 billion in loans from the European Commission.
"The secret services have made one step towards recovering their powers from their heyday, seven years on from their exclusion from criminal investigations under a decision of the Constitutional Court," the political analyst and journalist Dan Tapalaga wrote in an op-ed for G4Media.ro
Romania's Constitutional Court in February 2020 ruled that interceptions carried out by the SRI based on a national security warrant issued by the High Court should be removed from court files. Many cases that included evidence provided by SRI were thus closed, and those tried by its use were acquitted.
Currently, the SRI can only communicate to criminal authorities what it discovers under a national security warrant investigation. Prosecutors must thus do their own research without considering evidence...