May 23. 2024. 7:57

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Romania passes new law forcing fugitive convicts to pay repatriation costs


People convicted by the Romanian justice system who flee the country will have to pay for their repatriation, according to a law passed on Tuesday in response to the escape of several convicts in recent years.

The law, based on an initiative by Justice Minister Alina Gorghiu, aims to tackle cases in which defendants evade court proceedings or abscond while serving their sentences.

Under the new law, either the defendant who has fled the court or the prosecution will have the costs of bringing him into the country added to the legal fees, or if the convict flees the execution of his sentence, the money will be recovered through a civil action brought by the ministry that incurred the costs.

Legal proceedings will also be expedited and not subject to stamp duty.

The law’s provisions apply to internationally wanted persons-those for whom a European arrest warrant has been issued ⁠and those who have fled outside the European Union and for whom the extradition procedure is underway.

According to Gorghiu, Romania spent around 10 million lei (€2 million) to extradite 803 fugitives in 2023. As for this year, until 9 April, 233 fugitives have been returned.

Among the fugitives are notable figures, especially from the political sphere, who are still evading capture abroad, including in EU member states.

“Fugitives must think twice before running away from Romanian justice. If you run away from justice when you return, you will have to pay, not the Romanian state,” Gorghiu added.

(Sebastian Rotaru | Euractiv.ro)

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