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  Nr. 4182 de joi, 13 martie 2008 
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Constitutional exaggeration
These MPs are often impossible to understand. Why do they waste time with asking the Constitutional Court for consent to the opening of criminal inquiry against colleagues of theirs suspected of fraud? There is a much easier way to avoid the doack and even the prison cell. The procedure was very simple. All that Adrian Nastase or Miron Mitrea, the ones who know best where their colleague Predescu hid the project on the status of senators and deputies before being appointed a judge in the Constitutional Court, were to do was make this grand initiative subject to parliamentary procedures again.
Let us remember that the project authored by Ion Predescu in 2004 granted the MPs with the right not to go to jail. Here goes the article at stake: "Upon request from the MP interested in it, the Chamber he/ she is in may decide to suspend the court sentence to prison, unless the MP has been imprisoned already, or the Chamber may as well decide to suspend any criminal inquiry, which started, but is not finished. This suspension may go till the parliamentary mandate of the person at stake is over. The request is to be settled by a secret session of the Chamber, in case of vote majority." So low profile, straight and safe. Once such a law on a MP's incompatibility to prison passed, any appeal to the Constitutional Court against it would be useless. We just can't fancy that judge Ion Predescu would find unconstitutional flaws in the project authored by senator Ion Predescu! There is some exaggeration in this, no doubt. But the Court magistrates' interpretations of the Constitution are themselves exaggerated.
The infusion of immunity bestowd on former and present ministers who are MPs as well disobeyed the signification of the modifications operated in the Constitution in 2003, upon the civil society's request. Had the Court magistrates browsed the hundreds of proposals coming from Romanians during the Constitutional Forum, they would have seen that all of them were on means to restrain the privileges of the MPs. And 60% of the proposals included a particular claim: parliamentary immunity should be restricted only to the political statements expressed in the Parliament. The arguments supporting this claim were after doing away with the protection for those deputies and senators committing crimes and also after fetching the latter to the court. To restrict parliamentary immunity to the votes or political opinions expressed while under mandate is one of the main values in the law on the Constitution revision, which Romanians voted for in the referendum. Then why do Predescu & co. put it the other way around? Is it out of class solidarity? Or is it because many of the distinguished magistrates used to be politicians, some of them politically subordinate to those Justice is after today? Or is it because it is the Parliament's turn to get satisfaction, given a principle such as "a white one and then a black one"?
In the above-mentioned Constitutional Forum, 20% of those expressing opinion on parliamentary immunity asked that this kind of protection should be done away with for good. Monica Macovei is probably one adept of such a radical measure, for she finds the Court judges' deed extremely severe.
According to the ex minister of justice, the Constitutional Court magistrates should be criminally responsible for their unconstitutional decision that criminal inquiry against the MPs must have consent from the Chamber the MPs are members of. Suppose it is so. Suppose the general attorney asks charges be pressed against the people at stake. May the general attorney do it? Not without consent from the officials of the Chamber of Deputies, of the Senate and even of the President of Romania, depending on each particular case. So the general attorney may not do it. Does one notice the court judges break norms and does one ask for sanctions? It is in vain. Such attributions belong to the Court only. Who initiated this law? Ion Predescu, meaning a professor, a senator and a judge.
Under normal circumstances and in a normal country, the Constitutional Court's decisions should not get political interpretations. But this is impossible for the time being. We shall wait till 2013, when Ion Predescu's mandate is over and when he turns 86.
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