SCM Scandal: Iulian Muntean Plans to Resign

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The new member of the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM), Iulian Muntean, who is involved in a corruption case, has decided to resign. He personally has declared it today on his Facebook page. As Muntean explained, he is resigning from his position in order not to jeopardize the SCM’s activity. At the same time, he assured that in 2018 no one detained him, and all the property seized during the searches was returned to him. In his publication, Iulian Muntean explains what actually happened from the procedure of preliminary assessment in a specialized commission to his appointment. The functionary claims that when he submitted his court certificate to participate in the competition, he filled out an ethical integrity questionnaire in which he answered in the affirmative the question whether he had ever been involved in any civil cases, offences or criminal cases. Muntean says he listed all existing cases that were contained in databases. However, he did not mention anything about the 2018 case, all because his lawyer told him that the case was closed and should not be mentioned anywhere. Muntean also claims that the case in which he appears has not yet been brought to court. “Moreover, the lawyer informed me in 2019 that the case is closed and it does not appear in database. In the NAC report for 2016-2021, presented at the plenary session of Parliament, there was no this case in the section on corruption schemes and criminal gangs,” Muntean stressed. Muntean’s announcement of his resignation from the SCM came shortly after the Minister of Justice as well as members of the Superior Council of Magistracy demanded his dismissal. After the press reported that Muntean is a suspect in a criminal corruption case, he personally said that in 2018 nothing illegal was found in his belonging. “I was invited to the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office in September 2018. Having received the so-called indictment, I told them that I was not involved in this scheme. It was my first and last contact with them. It seems strange that such a criminal case has kept in someone’s safe for 5 years. A case on which I was charged with 950 lei,” Muntean wrote on Facebook. The Preliminary Evaluation Commission’s reaction, which in August approved Iulian Muntean’s candidacy for a position in the SCM, was also immediate. “The fact that Iulian Muntean appeared on the lists of candidates for the SCM was public. Therefore, nothing prevented the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office or other public institutions or individuals from informing the Commission during the evaluation process that the candidate was involved in any ongoing processes. Until 21 September 2023, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office did not provide any information in this regard. Moreover, the Commission did not find information regarding the criminal charges against Iulian Muntean in any of the public sources,” the Preliminary Evaluation Commission’s commentary states. The NAC, meanwhile, notes that the Preliminary Evaluation Commission has already been informed and it was not possible to identify this information earlier, as the judgement was not included in the register of forensic information. In 2018, Iulian Muntean became a defendant in a corruption case. He is suspected of allegedly taking payments from students for high grades when he was a teacher at the Academy of Economics. The investigation is ongoing.