The Venice Commission approved of the bill on the prosecution service, which considerably increases the independence of prosecutors and reforms the state prosecution service, Minister of Justice Vladimir Grosu said in a news conference.
The bill institutes a new method of naming the prosecutor general. This will be appointed by the head of state at the suggestion of the Supreme Council of Prosecutors. Thus, the process involves a number of participants. Currently, the prosecutor general is proposed by the Head of Parliament and is confirmed by Parliament. Under the new provisions, the prosecutor general will be dismissed only if he/she is involved in criminal cases or when he/she tenders a resignation.
According to the minister, the members of the Venice Commission stated that a large part of the provisions of the draft law on the prosecution service can be implemented without amending the Constitution. “But this does not mean that the Constitution shouldn’t be amended as the tasks of the Prosecutor General’s Office need to be clearly defined. The Commission said the bill is very good and will ensure considerable improvements in the functioning of the bodies of the Prosecutor General’s Office. This bill was drafted taking into consideration most of the recommendations made by the Venice Commission in 2008, which were ignored by the then government,” said Vladimir Grosu.
The minister also referred to the recommendations formulated by the Commission. A number of powers to promote and penalize prosecutors, which are now held by the prosecutor general, will be shared with the professional administration body, namely the Supreme Council of Prosecutors. The bill will also define a new method of dismissing the prosecutor general, which will be different from the mechanism for dismissing the prosecutors.
The candidates for the post of prosecutor of Gagauzia will be fielded by the People’s Assembly and will then take part in a contest. Currently the prosecutor of the autonomous union is named by the People’s Assembly. This is an outdated rule that does not contribute to depoliticizing the system. That’s why the working group looked for solutions.
Vladimir Grosu noted that the legislature should pass this bill in the current session so that it took effect on January 1, 2016. Asked by the journalists about the €1.8 million that the EU didn’t allocate to Moldova, as it was planned, because the country didn’t adopt the law on the prosecution service, the minister said this money could be disbursed when the law is passed.
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