Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Romania Politicians ‘Influencing Justice’

20 May 2008
Bucharest _ Romania’s President claims some politicians have pleaded with him to interfere in justice on their behalf.

Traian Basescu claimed that some of them had even come to his home and office to ask him to interfere for resolving their run-ins with the law.

He refused to give names or to specify the parties represented by those politicians, saying that it is not important, as he never took any further action.

”Please, don’t act like to I don’t know that these things are happening,” the President told the presenter of the television show.

Basescu pointed out that now the whole political class had turned against him because he refused to talk to people who had asked him to interfere in the justice system on their behalf.

Political analysts suggest Basescu simply used the remarks as a publicity stunt as the country gears up for local elections and Basescu seeks to secure votes for his Democratic Liberal Party.

“He must have given names and he should have gone to the prosecutors to denounce those politicians,” Cristian Tudor Popescu, an analyst said.

At the beginning of March, Basescu claimed that the country's politicians are continuing to pressure the judicial system. Read more:

Speaking to press, Basescu said that politicians had been so infuriated by their inability to control the judiciary that they had adopted laws protecting them against investigation.

As an example, Basecu cited laws adopted last year which had served only to block the higher levels of the fight against corruption and protect those disrespecting the country's banking laws.

The judicial system is also threatened, added Basescu, by groups within the mass media that are mainly controlled by politicians.

In a survey published by the country's General Prosecutor's Office, 40% of respondents said that they thought prosecutors weren't doing their job efficiently, while 43% said they had little trust in the Romanian judicial system.

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