The authorities tried to hide the so-called “Stamate” amendment and its passage was against the Parliament’s Regulations, said lawyer Oleg Efrim, according to whom the compromise formula agreed by Parliament last Friday is a better option than the passing of the amendment in its initial variant. For her part, the head of the Parliament’s legal commission for appointments and immunities Olesea Stamate admitted that the lawyers need guarantees for fulfilling their duties, but these should not impede the fight against corruption, IPN reports.
The amendment proposed by Olesea Stamate in its initial variant allowed for the full exclusion of the provision saying that the lawyers cannot be detained, searched and arrested without the preliminary consent of the Council of the Lawyers Union. According to lawyers, the bill was passed with deviations from the law.
“The lawyers learned absolutely accidentally about an amendment to the law proposed for the second reading. This generated considerable discontent inside the guilt. It seemed that they acted in secret as it went to another concept amendment proposed for the second reading. The concept referred to admission to the bar. The author’s proposals excluded guarantees that are intrinsic to the profession of lawyer. This is a fully different concept. In accordance with the Parliament’s Regulations, such amendments cannot be proposed after the first reading. The investigation body can take legal action against a lawyer for tax evasion and can come to search the lawyers’ office while actually looking for materials referring to a client concerned,” lawyer Oleg Efrim stated in the talk show “In Depth” on PROTV Chisinau channel.
After the lawyers expressed their indignation over the initial variant of the amendment, its content was modified. A compromise formula was finally agreed. Under this, the lawyers cannot be detained, searched and arrested without the preliminary consent of the Council of the Lawyers Union, except for cases of passive corruption, active corruption, influence peddling or cases when the persons are caught red-handed.
“I agree that the lawyer should benefit from particular guarantees. But in our country, we saw how the judges are offered all the independence guarantees according to the best European standards, but we didn’t see independence. The same can be said about prosecutors. I realize that abuses can be committed by the investigation body. The logic is not to build walls around particular categories of professionals against these abuses, but to eliminate the abuses. We will definitely keep the guarantees concerning searches and keeping of the professional secret,” said MP Olesea Stamate.
On January 25, the president of the Lawyers Union Dorin Popescu announced that the lawyers decided to stop the general strike started on January 20 and ask the authorities to draft and adopt, by the end of this April, a law that would offer the lawyers additional guarantees. The lawyers will take strike action again if this request is not granted.