Concerns about the Romanian justice system deepened this month, as it emerged that the “motivation” for a judgment at the Bucharest Court of Appeal regarding the high profile Baneasa Project, was written by former judge Corneliu-Bogdan Ion-Tudoran from a psychiatric unit after he was no longer a serving judge. A side-by-side comparison of the papers show that large sections of the report had been lifted from an indictment which had been written by prosecutor Nicolae Marin, currently the head of the Special Section for Investigating Crimes in the Judicial System (SIJCO).
The ‘cut and paste’ from one document to the other was revealed in the Romanian publication Lumea Justitiei. It explained how the former judge decided in November 2019 – while he was admitted to a psychiatric care facility and no longer held the capacity of magistrate, having resigned two months before, on September 20, 2019 – to submit to the court the reasoning of Sentence no. 267F that he had delivered on December 28, 2018 in case no. 4445/2/2016 relating to the Baneasa case.
Concerns have been raised about the fact Ion-Tudoran, although he no longer held the capacity of judge and although the doctors had advised him against “intellectual activity”, decided to submit his reasoning for sentencing in the Baneasa case. Additionally, the fact that large passages were so clearly lifted from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) indictment written by Prosecutor Nicolae Marin when he worked at the DNA, is also alarming.
It is understood that Mr Ion-Tudoran was staying at the psychiatric facility, having requested to be placed there in order to avoid arrest. There are claims that Mr Ion-Tudoran is under the protection of Nicolae Marin as a reward for decisions that he took in cases that Mr Marin was investigating. Certainly it would appear he is receiving especially lenient treatment from SIJCO.
The abuses that appear to have taken place in the Baneasa case are set against a backdrop of serious allegations made against the integrity of the DNA. These include a series of videos released by Sebastian Ghita, a media owner and former Social Democratic Party parliamentarian. Ghita claimed that the DNA works in tandem with the domestic intelligence service (SRI) to manipulate the judicial system to their mutual advantage.
The DNA has admitted that it relies on 20,000 wiretaps provided by the SRI. SRI General Dumitru Dumbrava went on record to admit that his agency intervenes in the judicial system and regards it as a “tactical field” of operations. Official papers obtained by the National Union of Judges of Romania show that SRI officers work in mixed teams with DNA prosecutors without proper legal authority. Prosecutor Nicolae Marin is widely known in Romania for having links with General Dumbrava and Florian Coldea of the SRI.
This latest episode, in which it seems a man who is no longer a judge is filing ‘motivations’ to court from a psychiatric unit and that his motivation was essentially scripted by the Prosecutor, will further diminish faith in the Romanian justice system and undermine the ruling in the Baneasa case.