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Rapporteur denounces move to legalize corruption in Romania

Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) rapporteur on “Keeping criminal and political responsibility separate”, today denounced the bill adopted by the Romanian parliament on 10 December 2013 effectively decriminalizing corruption by public officials, including politicians, as a grave threat to the rule of law.

“This bill, if it ever enters into force, will provide complete impunity to the entire political class in Romania for the most common corrupt practices. It violates basic Council of Europe standards for the fight against corruption and constitutes a serious threat to the rule of law in Romania. This is clearly not what PACE had in mind when it adopted my report on “Keeping criminal and political responsibility separate”, in June. Impunity for corrupt politicians has nothing to do with the politically-motivated prosecutions of representatives of the opposition on trumped-up charges denounced in my report.”