The outcome of a corrupted justice: millions euros damages to cover more than 22,000 complaints lodged at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
An article by Anca Munteanu
“The Romanian justice is corrupted” or “The Romanian justice is under political order” – this sounds quite familiar from media, TV or sound bites. Besides statements, there are too many arguments to support this. To set an example, the records of the Prosecutor’s Office near the High Court of Cassation and Justice count more than 400 persons every year, sent to trial by the prosecutors and then acquitted. Also, according to the appeals in cancellation, accepted by the Supreme Court between 1996 and 2003 there are more 500 persons, victims every year of some judiciary errors.
The Romanians who cannot find justice in their country, not even at the High Court of Cassation and Justice appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The complaints lodged against the Romanian government raise up to the incredible rate 22,000. A specific case to witness the outrageous errors in the Romanian Justice is Marcel Tundrea, the Romanian kept in jail for 12 years for a murder that he didn’t even perpetrate. As concerns the connections between politics and Justice, the Social Democratic Party minutes give more than obvious evidence about the former political leaders managing some actions in Justice.
These are but few reasons to testify we don’t have a reliable Justice in Romania. Few reasons to determine Gregorian Bivolaru ask political asylum in Sweden.
The judiciary errors are mentioned not only in the national cause records of the High Court of Justice Prosecutor’s Office, but also in the country reports in last October that stressed 500 persons average every year sent to jail for crimes they have never committed.
The records of the Supreme Court between 2001-2004 state more than 1,700 persons arrested and restrained by the prosecutors for files that have been eventually acquitted. 236 of the investigated persons have been abusively arrested. The prosecutors had even more blunders since 2003 when they have been withdrawn the right to arrest, which exclusively falls to the judges.
One person per ten arrested by prosecutors was illegally taken into custody according to file evidence. To put it in other words 10% out of the prosecutors’ acts of restraint followed by requests of arrest have no ground.
During the last two months in 2003, the prosecutors restrained 220 persons and then required in court their arrest having no legal evidence. In 2004 there were more 1,119 such cases and in 2005 things were the same: 479 cases were recorded in the first semester. Also the number of judiciary errors in between 1995 – 2003 confirmed by the admitted appeals in cancellation goes up to 5000 files.
People who cannot find justice in their country have one chance left: appeal to the CEDO. By last December, the Romanian government was due to pay more than 4 millions Euro to people fallen victims of the system. The number of the complaints the Romanian citizens lodged to the CEDO exceeds 22,000. Should 1% causes win, the state might have to assign every year the amount of a ministry budget to cover damages.
The Justice errors are destroying destinies. The above-mentioned Marcel Tundrea makes a tremenduous case: he was jailed for 12 years for a murder he never committed. The latter had been framed in 1992 a file of rape and murder; he was sued and sentenced to 25 years jail having no proper file evidence. The verdict only stood on a confused testimony stated by an old woman who never witnessed the murder but she claimed she had seen Tundrea by the corpse. In 1992 he was arrested and tortured by policemen and prosecutors and he was released in 2004, when some prosecutor at the Law Court of Gorj County considered the countless notes that Tundrea had writen in jail. The Law Court of Brasov released Tundrea by the end of last year, finding he never perpetrated the murder he was charged with. The prosecution appealed, but as the corpse of minor Mioara Gherasie was exhumed it became clear that Tundrea could not have been the perpetrator. The final verdict is due to September. Not only was an innocent man punished in this case, but there still is a murderer free out.
It stands for a fact that the Romanian Justice is not reliable, due to the countless errors. Besides it serves the personal or party interests of some politicians or influential people. Romania has broken one of the basic principles in democracy, namely the powers separation. The famous minutes of the Social Democratic Party record the interference of Rodica Stanoiu, former Minister of Justice and of Florin Georgescu, former Minister of Finances.
The two outstanding members of the PSD were speaking in the open about the buried files or, on the contrary, about the framed files, according to the existing interests. If you steal a few hundreds of lei or three trunks in the wood you might stay in jail for years, whereas the offenders who dilapidated thousands of millions euros are safe.
In our country if you have money and use wangles you can bail a punishment, buy a medical record to prevent detention, nay you can escape prosecution. There have been lots of files wiped away in the Courts’ archives. There have been offenders released for a prosecutor merely “forgot” to require further detention.
Does it make a surprise that the spiritual leader of the Romanian Yoga School, Gregorian Bivolaru is pursuing justice in a different country?
5 august 2005
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