Pardon bill to be sent back to the Senate legal committee

Pardon bill to be sent back to the Senate legal committee

Dragnea proposes sanctions against PSD senators who supported pardon for corruption deeds

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu has announced on Monday that the pardon bill is sent back in the upper chamber’s legal committee due to the amendments adopted by the committee’s members.

“The PSD-ALDE ruling coalition is to ask in the plenary sitting for the bill to be sent back in the committee so that the draft should be adopted in the form forwarded by the Government. It’s the form that we endorse and we want things to be clear from this perspective, especially after the turbulences that occurred last week,” Tariceanu has stated after the Senate’s Standing Bureau meeting.

Tariceanu argued that the PSD-ALDE leaders does not endorse the version of the pardon bill passed by the Legal committee, as some adopted amendments “are not opportune”.

“It’s true, the committee receded over the extended pardon for the corruption deeds. We don’t support this stance. There were also other amendments done that we don’t consider opportune,” the Senate speaker added.

Senators with the legal committee last Thursday gave up the amendment on pardon for corruption deeds, five Senators voting for rejection, while four PSD and ALDE senators abstained. The shift of attitude came one day after the same committee voted in favour of pardoning corruption deeds, triggering street protests on Wednesday.

Dragnea proposes legal committee chairman Serban Nicolae to be sanctioned

Tariceanu’s announcement that the pardon bill will be sent back to the legal committee has been preceded by Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea’s harsh statements against the Senate Legal Committee’s chair Serban Nicolae who has endorsed the controversial amendment on pardoning the corruption deeds.

Dragnea has requested on Monday that the pardon bill should be voted by the Senate in the form passed by the Government. He also informed that he had summoned the party’s Executive Committee on Wednesday to discuss the situation prompted by the controversial amendment on pardoning the corrupt, also revealing he will propose Serban Nicolae for sanction.

“I think the Senate legal committee has messed up this draft law enough. I believe the best option at this moment is the law should be voted in the Government’s form for many have been changed in the committee and I am very discontent with it,” Dragnea stated, explaining that the legal solution for that is for the draft law to be sent back to the committee.

The PSD chairman also said that he would not like the pardon bill to be tacitly adopted by the Senate. The deadline for the tacit adoption is May 23.

“I wanted these amendment not to be adopted. I want to openly discuss that in the Executive Committee, for they have been told those amendments are not OK,” he argued.

Asked if Serban Nicolae and the other PSD senators who have voted the amendment must be sanctioned, Dragnea retorted ironically: “No, they are going to get a prize each for promoting a new PSD.”

Talking seriously this time, Dragnea announced he would propose sanctions for the party senators who hadn’t observed his request to veto the amendment on the corruption pardon, adding that if he has no more authority in PSD, then he’d better get down to professional fishing instead.

Asked if he searches for better legal experts in PSD, others than Serban Nicolae and Eugen Nicolicea, accused of doing disservices to the party, Dragnea answered: “This is not the point of the quality of a legal expert or another, we talk here about approach and character.”

In retort, the legal committee chairman in the Senate, Serban Nicolae said the initial bill initiated by the Government contained several “frailties” that made the law “inapplicable”. “It’s not about an answer to the party’s chairman. You can imagine I don’t communicate with the party’s chairman through media statements,” Nicolae told journalists.

The senators of the legal committee have voted on Monday a favorable report “with amendments” to the pardon bill, meaning that the draft was to be debated in the lower chamber’s plenary sitting in the afternoon and the controversial amendments on pardoning the corrupt could have been adopted by the plenary sitting, despite being vetoed in the committee.

Serban Nicolae said that the National Penitentiary Administration had informed that 1,022 people would benefit of pardon, with 433 of them benefitting of the total pardon of the prison sentence, while the other 589 would have their jail sentence cut by three years.

According to Nicolae, no pregnant women serving prison sentences for the exempted crimes have been identified to benefit of pardon, neither people older than 60, only a 70-year-old person and nine minors./IBNA