EU court rejects Romania rulings that halted thousands of fraud cases

The European Union Court of Justice ruled on Monday that the Romanian judiciary should disregard decisions by the top national court which had led to thousands of corruption cases being closed since last year. A ruling by Romania’s Constitutional Court in 2018 eliminated exceptions to a statute of limitations for various crimes, including fraud. After the government failed to replace the previous rules with new legislation for four years, the court ruled last year that cases could be closed retroactively.

The EU court said the rulings contradicted the bloc’s law by creating a “systemic risk of impunity” for serious cases of fraud. “The Court recalls that national courts must not enforce national jurisprudence when it leads to the prescription of criminal accountability in such a large number of serious fraud cases that harm the European Union’s financial interests,” it said.

Romania is regarded as one of the European Union’s most corrupt states, according to Transparency International, and Brussels kept its justice system under special monitoring since it joined the EU in 2007. The Commission recommended lifting the monitoring mechanism late last year. Investigations by anti-corruption prosecutors have exposed conflict of interest, abuse of power, fraud and awarding of state contracts in exchange for bribes across political parties. Thousands of public figures, including ministers, mayors, lawmakers and company executives, have been convicted for graft.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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