Romania law on secret police investigating agency ruled unconstitutional

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Romania [official website] Thursday ruled [PDF text, in Romanian; press release, in Romanian] that parts of the law creating the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives (CNSAS) are unconstitutional. Head of the Supreme Council of Magistrates Linda Barbulescu said that the court's ruling effectively strikes down all previous findings by the CNSAS, the agency charged with investigating the archives of Communist Romania's Securitate [backgrounder] secret police force. Former Conservative Party leader Dan Voiculescu [personal website] brought the challenge against CNSAS after it accused him in 2006 of having worked as a Securitate informer. Voiculescu's lawyer said the investigation was politically motivated.

According to the Romanian constitution, parliament must now draft a new law in accordance with the court's ruling. Under the old law, citizens had the right to read their own file; it is unclear what a new law will allow. Under the Communist regime, the Securitate compiled files on hundreds of thousands of Romanian citizens with information obtained through a vast network of informers. Since it was formed in 1999, CNSAS has exposed dozens of public figures for collaborating with the Securitate. BBC News has more.

 

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