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  Nr. 4060 de luni, 15 octombrie 2007 
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Above the law
-- Moshe Katzav, formerly a President of Israel, was charged with rape and sexual harassment, early this year, while still a head of state. The charges were severe because they were against the highest official in state. The scandal shows that in Israel a President may be accused like any other citizen.
But this is actually impossible in Romania, although the Constitution has it that no one is above the law. Still the President may not be accused, which is not because of the law, but because of poor interpretation of the law and because public opinion has been told that the head of state may be investigated for high treason only. ZIUA wants to show that the President of Romania, no matter who he is, may be investigated or under criminal inquiry for any crime. The idea that the head of state may be investigated for high treason only, a crime not included in the Criminal Code, is just aberration.
While trying to explain why President Traian Basescu might not be charged in the Fleet case, Daniel Morar, a head of the DNA (National Anti-Corruption Department), claimed the President was a beneficiary of immunity and could be investigated for high treason only. This is mere aberration, but it has passed unnoticed, unfortunately. Moreover, the Prosecutor's Office has embraced the same view. Spokesman Robert Cazanciuc claims the President may not be under inquiry while in power, even if he commits rape or murder.
The statement made by the DNA head and then by the Prosecutor's Office is worrying because it is an attempt to muffle the criminal cases against Traian Basescu. ZIUA has been the only daily to point to it. As for the rest, neither civil society nor politicians opposing the Romanian President have responded whatsoever, taking Daniel Morar's words for good.
But to impose the idea that the President is immune to the law and may only be charged for a crime not present in the Criminal Code can have severe long-term effects. In other words, if a head of state commits rape, he may not be charged, like it happened in Israel, for instance. If he committed murder or theft, things would be the same. If we take an example and think about journalist Andreea Pana, whom President Basescu called "pussy" and "Filthy gypsy", nothing would have happened, had she addressed the Police against the President. (...)
But things are different, in fact. The President of Romania may be investigated or sued like any other citizen. The Constitution of Romania has it that the President enjoys immunity. And here is the paragraph on the MPs: "Deputies and senators may be investigated and sued for deeds that have got nothing to do with their polls or political options expressed during mandate. But they may be searched, retained or arrested only with consent from the Chamber they are members of and after hearing." Therefore a President may very well be under criminal inquiry if this is indeed wanted. (...)
Accused for a crime that doesn't exist
As mentioned, the DNA head claimed the President might be charged with high treason only. It shows that, even if a prosecutor, Daniel Morar does not know or he pretends he doesn't know that a crime such as high treason is not to be found in the Criminal Code. His opinion relies on a constitutional norms that goes as follows: "If at least two thirds of the total number of senators and deputies vote for it in common session, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate may decide to charge the President of Romania with high treason." Nevertheless, this point should be connected to the Criminal Code norms, which include no such crime.
Since the head of state may be charged with high treason only and since such a crime doesn't exist, then the President is the only citizen immune to the law. More exactly, he may commit any crime, for he may not be charged and the only crime he may be charged with doesn't exist.
George TARATA, Bogdan GALCA 
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