July 9, 2019 / 8:04 AM / 3 months ago

European agency voices concern about Romania's judicial independence

BUCHAREST, July 9 (Reuters) - The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption agency GRECO in reports released on Tuesday:

* Says Romania has made very little progress in enforcing measures to prevent corruption and to address concerns raised by its controversial judicial reform.

* Says despite GRECO’s appeal to the government to limit the use of emergency decrees, the ruling Social Democrats continued resorting to them for adopting important legal amendments.

* Says it is “deeply concerned” the ruling coalition ignored its recommendation to abandon a special prosecuting unit to investigate alleged offences by judges and prosecutors.

* Says a special prosecuting unit was seen as “an anomaly” in the existing institutional setting, which could lead to conflicts of jurisdiction and could be misused.

* Says insists that the prosecuting unit be abolished.

* Says that pending legislation includes several amendments relating to the appointments and dismissals of senior prosecutors, functional independence of prosecutors, personal liability of magistrates which, taken together, represent serious threats to the independence of the judiciary. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie)

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