European magistrates concerned about the influence of intelligence agency over the judiciary process in Romania

MEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés – shares the same deep concerns of the judges and prosecutors from Romania who took a stand against the unlawful involvement of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) in the judiciary process. This situation is a threat to the democracy in Romania, therefore we call on all Romanian authorities to take immediate actions in protecting the independence of the judiciary and reestablishing the rule of law so every Romanian would have the confidence that has part of a just and fair trial.
The claims made by General Dumitru Dumbrava, the Director of the SRI legal department, that the courts are a “tactical field” where this secret service conducts intelligence operations “until every case is finalized”, revealed that SRI is involved in the judiciary process along with the prosecutors and judges, which it is incompatible with the common European standards on independence of the judiciary.

Also, the claim made by General Dumbrava that SRI is proactively profiling and categorizing judges by “patterns” of criminal behavior, an operation done to identify suspects of terrorism, exposes that the judges are under pressure and intimidated by this intelligence agency.

We are also deeply troubled by the fact that, based on what the former Romanian president Traian Basescu said, there were SRI undercover agents among the Romanian magistrates, and for 10 years nobody verified if they were removed from the judiciary system or not.
Every institution part of the judiciary process, the judges, prosecutors, has a unique role in delivering justice and they must be allowed to perform their duties without any interference from outside, otherwise the notion and process of “justice” is compromised.

These statements raise reasonable doubts about the independence on the entire Romanian judiciary system, therefore require immediate action from all Romanian authorities in order to reestablish the credibility that judges are independent and people have part of a just and fair trial.

We follow the development of this situation very close and we expect the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy, which is the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, to be firm and do all the necessary steps to clarify these claims and reassure that the judges are independent of any influence.

We also call on the Romanian Parliament to thoroughly investigate the statements made by General Dumitru Dumbrava about the involvement of the SRI in the judiciary process. If what General Dumbrava said is true, that is a severe violation of the Art. 6 of European Convention, and any involvement of a secret service in the judiciary process must be immediately stopped and proper measures taken to guarantee that a similar unlawful activity will not be repeated in the future.

Nevertheless, we are asking the Romanian President to address this situation in CSAT and to use his power and authority to ensure that the Romanian intelligence agencies are not interfering with the judiciary process in any way.
Romania made important steps forward, in the past decade, in building a healthy judiciary system, and any influence or involvement of a secret intelligence agency in the judiciary process would represent massive steps backwards from the standards of democracy and rule of law that Romania is pursuing.
MEDEL will support any future actions of the Romanian judges and prosecutors in protecting the independence of the judiciary system and will address this unprecedented situation from Romania with the European officials.

Athens, 23rd of May 2015

Updated: May 31, 2016 — 2:21 pm
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