“It is a matter of serious concern that the majority in the Romanian parliament is interfering with the separation of powers and preventing Romania’s judicial authorities from investigating accusations of high-level corruption,” said Bernd Fabritius (Germany, EPP/CD), rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the rule of law in South-East European countries, reacting to the Romanian Chamber of Deputies’ rejection of an application by the Romanian anti-corruption agency to prosecute Prime Minister Victor Ponta on suspicion of forgery, money-laundering, tax evasion and influence-peddling.
“The decision of Parliament is a clear violation of fundamental democratic values and is incompatible with rule of law principles. Justice is being frustrated by politics,” he said.
Criticism of shortcomings regarding the rule of law in Romania were voiced in May at an expert hearing of PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. “I will be investigating these developments in Romania in the context of my report for the Parliamentary Assembly on ‘Strengthening the rule of law in South-East European countries through targeted reform of the legal system’,” concluded Mr Fabritius.