Romania Adopts Controversial Decree Easing Penal Code

Romania adopts controversial decree easing penal code

BUCHAREST, Feb 1, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 01st Feb, 2017 ) : Romania's social-democrat government on Tuesday adopted by emergency decree legal changes which will allow several politicians to avoid criminal prosecution, an initiative which had brought tens of thousands of protestors on to the streets. "We have adopted this text to bring the legislation in line with the decisions of the constitutional court," said Justice Minister Florin Iordache.

Several thousand protestors gathered in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest, chanting "Thieves." The emergency decree had not been included on the government's daily agenda. The measures will come into force as soon as they are published in the official journal, bypassing parliament. Earlier this month the government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu published the text which decriminalises several offences and makes abuse of power punishable by incarceration only if it results in a monetary loss of more than 44,000 Euros ($47,500).

The changes will notably allow social-democrat leader Liviu Dragnea who is currently on trial for abuse of power to avoid prosecution. Prosecutors have put the amount of money involved in his case at 24,000 euros, well below the new threshold. The government did, however, send another measure to parliament for approval which would free inmates serving sentences of up to five years for non-violent crimes.