GRECO suggests that new Romanian criminal code amendments could make it harder to prosecute corruption cases.

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Council of Europe anti-corruption body has expressed serious concerns over the proposed amendments to the Romanian Criminal Code. It has been suggested that the proposed measures would restrict the use of covert investigative techniques and are likely to hinder Romania’s ability to combat corruption and other serious criminal matters. Beyond the borders of Romania, GRECO also suggest that the amendments would prevent Romania from being able to comply with Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.
GREGO have suggested that Romania needs to improve the transparency of its legislative process by developing rules on consultations, hearings and debates as well as ensuring that an urgent legislative procedure is available when needed. Additionally, GRECO explained that the process for appointing and revoking senior prosecutorial functions needs to be more objective and transparent.
GRECO have also announced that Romania have been asked to provide an update on the proposed amendments during a meeting scheduled for June 2018.

German extradition of Roman Pisciotti did not breach anti-discrimination principles, rules CJEU

The CJEU today ruled that Germany were right to extradite Roman Pisciotti to the US. Mr Pisciotti was accused of anti-trust offences which took place in Florida between 1999 and 2006. A Florida court issued a warrant for his arrest in 2010 and he was eventually arrested at Frankfurt airport in 2013. Germany extradited Mr Pisciotti to the US in 2014 where he served a 2-year prison sentence. In the CJEU, his lawyers argued that as he is an EU citizen he should have been treated equally to German citizens and therefore not extradited to the US as Article 16 of Germany’s Basic Law prevents Germans from being extradited other than to other EU Member States. Therefore, despite being Italian, Mr Pisciotti argued that when in Germany he was entitled under EU law to the same protection as a German citizen. The CJEU decided that Germany’s decision to extradite Mr Pisciotti did not breach EU anti-discrimination principles and that such principles should not be used in a way that would result in individuals being granted immunity from justice throughout the EU. The effect of the CJEU judgement is that Germany does not have to offer all EU citizens the same protection from extradition as it does its own citizens. However, the court held that where the extradition of an EU citizen was requested by a 3rd country, outside of the EU, from an EU Member State that would not ordinarily extradite its own citizens to that 3rd country, the authorities of that Member State should first enquire with requested person’s country of citizenship whether it wished to prosecute him for the offence that was the subject of the extradition request. If his country of citizenship declined, then extradition to the 3rd country could follow.

Greek court rejects Turkey’s extradition request for Mehmet Dogan

A Greek court has rejected Turkey’s extradition request for Mehmet Dogan, one of the nine Turkish people it wants on suspicion of being linked to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, which the EU has identified as a terrorist organisation. Turkey has charged them all with terrorism-related offences, but Mr Dogan successfully argued that the charges against him were politically motivated.

The Court is due to hear the second case relating to the 9 wanted people this week.