Tag Archives: Romania

Romania: Joint letter on conviction and imprisonment Robert Roșu

15/06/21

Joint letter on conviction and imprisonment Robert Roșu

In a joint letter Lawyers for Lawyers and the Law Society of England and Wales express concern about the conviction and imprisonment of lawyer Robert Roșu from Romania.

On 17 December 2020, the High Court of Justice and Cassation of Romania found lawyer Robert Roșu, partner at the law firm Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii in Bucharest, guilty of participating in the formation of an organized criminal group and of complicity to abuse of office, and sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

According to the information received, the criminal case against Mr. Roșu is most likely related to his professional activities in the  ‘Băneasa Farm Case’ regarding the restitution of large plots of land in northern Bucharest to the heir of King Carol II of Romania.

Mr. Roșu, as the latter’s legal representative, secured the restitution, as well as the restitution of of other property to different clients through administrative procedures. In December 2015, Mr. Roșu was charged with the formation of an organized criminal group, complicity to abuse of office, influence peddling, and money laundering and placed under house arrest for three months. We believe that Mr Rosu’s conviction is related to his work as a lawyer, specifically his work on the above-mentioned restitution cases. In March 2016, a judge of the Criminal Division of the High Court of Cassation and Justice found that Mr. Roșu’s actions “fall within the limits of the activities normally carried out by a lawyer”. On 11 March 2016, Mr. Roșu was released from house arrest.

However, the National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD) decided that the criminal prosecution against Mr. Roșu should continue and indicted him in May 2016. In June 2019, the Brașov Court of Appeals acquitted Mr. Roșu of all charges, establishing that there was no indication that Mr. Roșu committed any of the crimes with which he had been charged.  The NAD decided to appeal the sentence issued by the Brasov Court of Appeals before the High Court of Cassation and Justice. In the view of the NAD’s prosecutors, Mr. Roșu was criminally guilty for his “mere presence” alongside his client in proceedings before a restitution commission, for using “an important volume of information referring to legal terminology”, and for excessively “persuasive” pleadings.

[…]

https://www.ecba.org/content/index.php/projects/human-rights/750-hr-committee-acts-in-defence-of-lawyers-rights-in-romania-in-the-case-of-robert-rosu

https://ecba.org/content/index.php/projects/human-rights/810-ecba-human-rights-committee-statement-on-the-lawyer-robert-rosu-case

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/robert-rosu-continues-be-persecuted-simply-exercising-his-profession

(ROMANESC)

https://www.mediafax.ro/justitie/exclusiv-rapoarte-inspectia-judiciara-a-constatat-ca-dna-a-incalcat-independenta-justitiei-apara-judecatorii-si-respinge-cererile-procurorilor-in-cazul-robert-rosu-20086365

Romania: Robert Roșu Continues to be Persecuted for Simply Exercising His Profession

18/02/21

Scandalul condamnării avocatului Robert Roșu, pe masa Uniunii Barourilor

The UIA-IROL is expressing its grave concern on the case of Robert Roșu. 

In 2016, we previously protested the circumstances surrounding the search at the head offices of the law firm of Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii on December 8, 2015 by officers of the National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD.) That search was followed by the arrest on December 10, 2015 of Mr. Robert Roșu, a partner at Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii.

In our previous statement, we recalled the core principles around protection of confidentiality and the conditions under which searches of lawyers’ offices may be carried out [1].

Today we note that our colleague Mr. Roșu, as well as the legal profession continues to find itself under attack in Romania.

It is our understanding that Robert Roșu has just recently been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, being found guilty simply for having exercised his profession. He is currently in prison based on a court decision which has been denounced by the representatives of the legal profession and a significant number of colleagues as wrong and abusive.

Previously, Mr. Roșu, having been charged in 2015 with alleged crimes of corruption and placed under house arrest for three months, was finally released by a judge of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the highest court in Romania. All of the acts and deeds the prosecution considered “criminal” in his case were determined by the judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice as activities typical of the exercise of the legal profession, falling within the limits of the activities normally carried out by a lawyer. By a decision dated March 11, 2016, the house arrest was therefore invalidated.

[…]

https://www.uianet.org/fr/actions/robert-rosu-continues-be-persecuted-simply-exercising-his-profession

(ROMANA)

https://evz.ro/reactii-internationale-la-condamnarea-avocatului-robert-rosu.html

https://evz.ro/unbr-condamnarea-avocatului-robert-rosu.html

https://www.capital.ro/un-cunoscut-avocat-a-fost-condamnat-la-inchisoare-pentru-ca-si-a-exercitat-profesia.html

FRANCAIS:

Romania: Romanian Bar Condemns Lawyer’s Conviction For Representing Fraudster ‘Prince’

21/12/20

Romanian lawyers say conviction and heavy jail term for colleague who acted as the legal representative of a self-proclaimed prince found guilty of corruption is unjust and could deter other lawyers from doing their job.

Dozens of Romanian lawyers protested at Bucharest’s High Court on Monday against the conviction of a lawyer for his “direct involvement in sealing contracts” and “transmitting notifications” on behalf of a self-styled Romanian prince convicted and sentenced last week over a fraudulent restitution of land.

Protesters say Robert Rosu merely fulfilled his duties as a lawyer, representing his client, a businessman who was acting in on behalf of Paul Philippe of Romania, who styles himself Prince Paul, and who is now at large, having fled a court verdict. They argue that the conviction sets a dangerous precedent that might interfere with the ability and willingness of other lawyers to conduct their work.

Rosu’s five-year prison sentence was condemned also by the National Union of Romanian Bar Associations, UNBR. Its president told state TV that the verdict “creates fear in the exercise of the profession”.

Together with three businessmen that were also found guilty in the case, Rosu was convicted of constituting a criminal group in support of a former king’s illegitimate grandson’s claim to two swathes of land situated north of Bucharest. He eventually obtained the land from the Romanian state.

Paul Philippe of Romania, aka Prince Paul, is the son of an illegitimate child of King Carol II of Romania. He claims to be the head of Romania’s royal house, dethroned in 1947.

[…]

https://www.agerpres.ro/english/2020/12/21/protest-at-palace-of-justice-following-conviction-of-lawyer-robert-rosu-in-ferma-baneasa-case–631471

https://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/o-parte-baroul-bucuresti-protesteaza-avocatul-condamnat-robert-rosu-fost-trimis-gratii-dosarul-ferma-baneasa-video-1_5fe078365163ec42711fe51f/index.html (ROMANESC)

http://www.defendre.eu/observatoire-roumanie201217.htm (FRANCAIS)

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Romania: European body says Romania court changes undermine independence

July 13, 2018

Romania's anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi (Getty Images/AFP/A. Catu)

Romania’s plans for a judicial overhaul would be likely to undermine the independence of magistrates and sap public confidence in the judiciary, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters said on Friday.

The advice from the body, known as the Venice Commission, could provide ammunition for centrist President Klaus Iohannis, who is trying to block legal changes that opponents say would make it easier for officials to engage in corruption.

Iohannis has challenged the overhaul backed by the ruling Social Democrats at the Constitutional Court. He asked the Venice Commission to assess the bills, which parliament has approved but which he must sign for them to become law.

The Commission said in a statement that the measures contained improvements from previous drafts but were still problematic. From their “cumulative effect”, some “instruments could result in inordinate pressure on judges and prosecutors.”

The Council of Europe, made up of 47 member states, is a human rights body that shares a flag with the European Union but is separate from it. It set up the Venice Commission of experts after the fall of the Berlin wall to help advise European states emerging from communism on how to enact constitutional reforms.

The EU’s executive commission and thousands of Romanian magistrates have criticised the Romanian overhaul, saying it would leave courts and prosecutors vulnerable to political interference in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states.

http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/13/european-body-says-romania-court-changes-undermine-independence

https://www.dw.com/en/romanian-president-sacks-anti-graft-prosecutor-laura-codruta-kovesi/a-44593998

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/fears-for-romania-s-anti-corruption-drive-grow-with-sacking-of-top-prosecutor-1.3559171

http://business-review.eu/featured/klaus-iohannis-to-dismiss-laura-codruta-kovesi-176060

http://business-review.eu/news/dna-chief-laura-codruta-kovesi-reacts-after-president-iohannis-signs-her-dismissal-176121

https://seenews.com/news/romanias-ruling-coalition-may-seek-presidents-suspension-for-refusal-to-dismiss-anti-graft-chief-619071

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/07/09/le-gouvernement-roumain-obtient-le-limogeage-de-laura-codruta-kovesi-a-la-tete-du-parquet-anticorruption_5328376_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (FRANCAIS)

Romania: Claiming ‘Parallel State’ Cabal, Romania’s Leaders Target Anti-Corruption Prosecutor

June 17, 2018

The powerful leader of Romania’s governing party — convicted of voter fraud, suspected of stealing millions of dollars of European Union funds, and soon to face a verdict in a case involving abuse of power — had a message for the more than 100,000 citizens who gathered in one of the capital’s main squares recently: He is the victim.

The pro-government demonstrators in Bucharest on June 9 were protesting what they call a “parallel state” in Romania that they say perverts the rule of law with the aid of the president and the chief anti-corruption prosecutor.

If the anti-corruption forces could come for him, Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party, warned ominously, they could come for anyone.

“You must not be under the illusion that only high-ranking officials or public servants will be the victims of denunciations and fake evidence,” he told supporters. “Absolutely everyone today in Romania can be targeted by a denunciation which could lead to an arrest or conviction.”

https://www.romania-insider.com/international-media-romanias-shadow-state/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

https://www.stiripesurse.ro/laura-codruta-kovesi-rupe-tacerea-dupa-decizia-ccr-sefa-dna-interviu-pentru-new-york-times_1271408.html (ROMANIAN)

http://www.mediafax.ro/social/the-new-york-times-prima-reactie-a-laurei-codruta-kovesi-dupa-decizia-ccr-presiunile-au-crescut-din-cauza-condamnarilor-17259617 (ROMANIAN)

http://www.ziuanews.ro/revista-presei/the-new-york-times-prima-reactie-a-laurei-codruta-kovesi-dupa-decizia-ccr-presiunile-au-crescut-din-cauza-condamnarilor-949544 (ROMANIAN)

https://lepetitjournal.com/bucarest/actualites/justice-lancien-depute-sebastian-ghita-acquitte-dans-un-dossier-233401 (FRANCAIS)

Romania: Romanian Superior Magistracy Council rejects disciplinary action against anticorruption head

June 14, 2018

Image result for laura codruta kovesi

The Superior Magistracy Council’s prosecutor section rejected on Wednesday, June 13, one of the Judicial Inspection’s disciplinary actions against the chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi.

The Judicial Inspection argued that Kovesi violated her duties when she sent one of her councilors to perform a control at two DNA offices in the country. The CSM’s decision can be attacked at the High Court of Cassation and Justice, local News.roreported.

However, the Judicial Inspection has two other disciplinary actions against the DNA head, both started in the past year. Kovesi has been accused of violating her duties and of behavior incompatible with her position, which may have damaged the image and reputation of the local justice system.

Justice minister Tudorel Toader asked for Kovesi’s dismissal from DNA’s helm in February but president Iohannis refused to sign the order. Romania’s Constitutional Court decided at the end of May that the president must accept the minister’s request to dismiss Kovesi, but the president said he would first analyze the court’s motivation.

https://www.romania-insider.com/csm-rejects-disciplinary-action-dna-head/

https://www.actmedia.eu/daily/the-csm-prosecutors-reject-a-disciplinary-action-of-the-judicial-inspection-against-laura-codruta-kovesi/75922

http://business-review.eu/news/iohannis-on-removing-kovesi-i-need-to-act-in-reasonable-time-173014

https://www.romania-insider.com/psd-plans-suspend-president/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

http://www.mediafax.ro/social/procurorii-csm-resping-o-actiune-disciplinara-a-inspectiei-judiciare-impotriva-laurei-codruta-kovesi-17253048 (ROMANIAN)

http://www.romaniatv.net/laura-codruta-kovesi-intrebata-daca-si-da-demisia-de-la-dna-la-revedere_424868.html (ROMANIAN)

https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (ROMANIAN)

Romania: Romania’s ruling coalition stages rally against alleged abuses by anti-graft prosecutors

June 9, 2018

 

Romania’s ruling Social Democrats and thousands of supporters rallied outside government headquarters in Bucharest on Saturday in protest at alleged abuses of power by anti-corruption prosecutors.

The rally was seen as the ruling coalition’s response to a series of large anti-government street protests held against Social Democrat attempts to decriminalize several corruption offences via emergency decree last year. The popular outcry forced the Social Democrats to withdraw the decree.

Romania is one of the European Union’s most corrupt states and Brussels keeps its justice system under special monitoring.

The argument over how hard to fight corruption in Romania has dominated its politics since it joined the EU in 2007.

Anti-corruption prosecutors have secured a spate of convictions against lawmakers, ministers and mayors in recent years, exposing conflicts of interest, abuse of power, fraud and the awarding of state contracts in exchange for bribes.

But leading politicians, some of whom are currently under investigation or on trial, have denied wrongdoing and accused prosecutors of using their powers for political persecution.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-romania-politics-rally/romanias-ruling-coalition-stages-rally-against-alleged-abuses-by-anti-graft-prosecutors-idUSKCN1J50XK

http://www.nineoclock.ro/targeted-by-judicial-inspections-disciplinary-actions-laura-codruta-kovesi-spends-over-two-hours-at-csm/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/romanian-absurd-a-ruling-party-that-calls-a-protest-meeting/

https://www.romania-insider.com/ruling-coalition-brings-150000-people-bucharest-protest-shadow-state/

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/government-backed-mass-rally-in-romania-against-judicial-abuses/

https://english.hotnews.ro/stiri-top_news-22499617-throngs-brought-bucharest-for-governing-coalition-protests-against-parallel-state-seen-show-force-for-strongman-liviu-dragnea-against-anti-graft-prosecutors.htm

http://www.intellinews.com/romania-s-ruling-psd-stages-200-000-strong-protest-in-bucharest-143134/?source=romania

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/romanians-hold-rival-rallies-as-tension-grows-in-corruption-row-1.3525864

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Anticorruption_Directorate

https://www.stiripesurse.ro/liviu-dragnea-vorbe-te-despre-revocarea-lui-kovesi-dupa-mitingul-psd-i-avertizeaza-daca-o-sa-i-mai-chem-o-data-o-sa-vina-un-milion_1269949.html (ROMANIAN)

https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (ROMANIAN)

http://www.france24.com/fr/20180609-roumanie-gauche-pouvoir-psd-etat-parallele-magistrats-liviu-dragnea (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.euronews.com/2018/06/10/le-pouvoir-roumain-contre-les-magistrats-anticorruption (FRANCAIS)

Romania: Romania’s anti-corruption agency (DNA) reacts after Constitutional Court decides chief prosecutor Kovesi must be dismissed by president

May 31, 2018

Romania’s anti-corruption agency (DNA) has released its first statement in reaction to the Constitutional Court’s decision on Wednesday which said that president Klaus Iohannis must move forward with the dismissal of DNA’s chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, following the proposal of Justice minister Tudorel Toader.

DNA’s statement reads: “It is time to send an alarm signal and express our concern regarding the potential damage done to prosecutors’ independence, which represents an essential premise of the fight against corruption. Without the existing legal guarantees, the fight would not have been possible, and losing these guarantees could mean that the ongoing investigations conducted by anti-corruption prosecutors could be gravely affected.”

Another negative reaction came from the chief prosecutor of DIICOT, Romania’s anti-organised crime and terrorism agency, Daniel Horodniceanu, who said that CCR’s decision has placed prosecutors “not under the authority, but under the potentially discretionary exercise of the Justice minister, who is a political appointee.” He added that “the constitutional guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, the Superior Council of Magistracy, has been reduced to a sterile role.”

http://business-review.eu/news/anti-corruption-agency-reacts-after-constitutional-court-decides-president-iohannis-needs-to-dismiss-chief-prosecutor-kovesi-171609

https://www.actmedia.eu/daily/dna-s-reaction-on-ccr-s-decision-the-prosecutors-independence-status-might-be-affected/75721

https://www.actmedia.eu/daily/ec-on-ccr-decision-in-kovesi-s-case-fight-against-corruption-is-periodically-evaluates-in-the-mechanism-of-cooperation-and-verification/75722

https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/romanias-president-ordered-dismiss-romanias-chief-anti-corruption-prosecutor/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

https://www.stiripesurse.ro/o-judecatoare-arunca-in-aer-scandalul-deciziei-ccr-pe-revocarea-sefei-dna-cine-va-avea-ultimul-cuvant_1268342.html (ROMANIAN)

http://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/500-procurori-zeci-judecatori-reactioneaza-fata-decizia-ccr-ministrul-justitiei-nu-niciun-rol-cariera-procurorilor-1_5b1013c3df52022f75a47299/index.html (ROMANIAN)

https://lepetitjournal.com/bucarest/actualites/dna-manifestations-pour-soutenir-kovesi-suite-la-decision-de-la-ccr-232037 (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (FRANCAIS)

http://www.kas.de/wf/de/33.52675/ (DEUTSCH)

http://www.eastjournal.net/archives/90606 (ITALIANO)

Romania: Roumanie : la justice contraint le président à révoquer la procureure anticorruption

le 30 mai, 2018

Le président roumain Klaus Iohannis doit lever son veto à une révocation de la cheffe du Parquet anticorruption (DNA), exigée par le gouvernement en dépit des protestations de l’opposition et de la communauté internationale, a décidé mercredi la Cour constitutionnelle.

Le chef de l’Etat (de centre droit), “n’a pas de pouvoir discrétionnaire” dans ce domaine et doit par conséquent “émettre le décret de révocation” conformément à la demande du ministère de la Justice, a tranché la Cour dans une décision sans appel qui représente une victoire majeure pour le gouvernement social-démocrate.

Plusieurs responsables de la coalition de gauche au pouvoir se sont aussitôt félicités de cette annonce, estimant, à l’instar du président du Sénat Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, que la procureure, Laura Codruta Kovesi, “aurait dû démissionner depuis longtemps”.

Pour l’opposition de centre droit toutefois, cette décision, prise par six voix contre trois, “porte gravement atteinte à la crédibilité” de la Cour.

Un millier de personnes sont descendues dans la rue à Bucarest pour exprimer leur soutien à Mme Kovesi et “défendre la démocratie”.

https://www.romandie.com/news/Roumanie-la-justice-contraint-le-pr-sident-r-voquer-la-procureure-anticorruption/922931.rom

https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Europe/Roumanie-president-doit-revoquer-procureure-anticorruption-Laura-Codruta-Kovesi-2018-05-30-1200943109

https://www.politico.eu/article/laura-codruta-kovesi-romanian-court-rules-president-should-dismiss-corruption-watchdog/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-romania-government-corruption/romanian-president-must-dismiss-chief-anti-corruption-prosecutor-top-court-idUSKCN1IV1SX?il=0 (ENGLISH)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (ENGLISH)

http://evz.ro/ccr-presedintele-urmeaza-sa-semneze-revocarea-laurei-codruta-kov.html (ROMANIAN)

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-05/laura-koevesi-rumaenien-antikorruptionsstaatsanwaeltin-oberstes-gericht (DEUTSCH)

https://index.hu/kulfold/2018/05/30/le_kell_valtani_laura_codru_a_kovesi_roman_korrupcios_fougyeszt/ (HUNGARIAN)

Romania: Over 900 Romanian magistrates sign resolution for “defending rule of law”

May 22, 2018

140903 romania.png effected.png?ixlib=rails 0.3

More than 900 Romanian magistrates signed by Monday evening, May 21, a “resolution for defending the rule of law,” a document made public by the Forum of Judges in Romania and initiated on Saturday during a protest staged in front of the Palace of Justice, attended by more than a hundred judges and prosecutors, local News.ro reported.

The magistrates said they adopted this resolution amid the recent public developments on amending the laws of justice, which seriously jeopardize the independence of the judiciary and the course of the Romanian state within the European Union and the Council of Europe. They also said that the overwhelming majority of Romanian judges and prosecutors didn’t accept the draft laws on the activity of the judiciary, the magistrates’ opinion being ignored.

The Romanian magistrates also noted the statements of the justice minister and of the representatives of the legislative power, which they say minimize the report of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body. They also said that the legislative proposals that are currently under public debate represent an involution in the creation of a modern criminal justice system adapted to the new social realities, as well as a distortion of the purpose of the criminal process and the state’s criminal policy.

They also remind of the unprecedented attacks on numerous judges and prosecutors who are also involved in cases of high corruption, as well as the most important state institutions, with a defense and public security role, including the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). Also, the magistrates said the minister of justice is allowed to publicly attack all the DNA prosecutors, speculating that they manage evidence in violation of the law.

https://www.romania-insider.com/magistrates-resolution-rule-law/

https://www.liberties.eu/en/short-news/21892/21892

http://www.nineoclock.ro/more-than-900-magistrates-sign-romanian-magistrates-resolution-for-the-defence-of-rule-of-law-we-insistently-demand-that-political-actors-immediately-cease-their-attacks-on/