Romania: Scrapped anti-corruption body too effective
21 April 2010
"ANI has been scrapped" reports Revista 22. The National Integrity Agency (ANI), an organisation with a brief to fight corruption in Romanian politics has been sentenced to technical redundancy by a ruling of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR). According to the court, some of ANI's powers, most notably its authorisation to issue subpoenas and verify the income tax statements of persons under investigation are in fact unconstitutional. The weekly criticises the ruling, which went by unnoticed by the Romanian public who were focused on news of the volcanic ash cloud, and the CCR "for consistently obstructing criminal investigations of political leaders implicated in corruption scandals. It also notes that "seven of the nine CCR judges are currently under investigation by ANI." In an interview published along with the weekly's report, former minister for justice Monica Macovei remarks that ruling fails to take into account the fact that ANI is the only Romanian anti-corruption organisation that is trusted by Brussels: "politicians' pockets, wealth and freedom are more important than the external credibility of Romania."