In its report for 2019, the Specialized State Prosecutor's Office (SDT) notes that it is working successfully, pointing to staff malnutrition and not entirely adequate premises. In order to speed up the trial of banking crime, it proposes the creation of a single specialized court for economic and corruption offenses.
Photography is symbolic.
As stated in the report awaiting consideration by the parliamentary committee responsible, SDTs, 26 prosecutors worked actively with them last year, which means that the number of prosecutorial staff is still the last among all prosecutors' offices.
They also point out that despite some improvements, spatial distress on the SDT has not yet been fully resolved. “Not all prosecutors have their own office yet, but they split it by two,” they state. They point out that the pressure on the premises will increase when the prosecutors of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, which is expected to start work this year, will also be working on the premises of the MMF.
Among the technical issues, they point out that an update to the server system would be necessary, which still does not allow normal use despite the replacement of computers. However, they welcome the fact that they received a warning from their hearing that they do not have a security zone in place to store sensitive information in an appropriate manner. Construction of a common security area is underway and is expected to be completed this year, the report shows.
SDT prosecutors filed 176 indictments and indictments in 2019, down from a year earlier. They have again ordered two financial investigations against seven persons and filed three lawsuits for confiscation of assets of illegal origin totaling just over € 700,000. Temporary securing for the deprivation of property of illegal origin has been re-ordered in five cases for a total of just over two million euros.
The number of new proceedings under the law on confiscation of assets of illegal origin and the amount of property subject to these procedures, though last year decreased compared to the previous year. “This is due to the decision of the Constitutional Court in 2018, which in part invalidated the article which allowed for the initiation and conduct of financial proceedings also for crimes committed before the law was enacted,” the report said.
The percentage of convictions and the number of convicted persons reached by SDT prosecutors increased compared to the previous year. Namely, the SDT received judgments against 134 persons last year, of which 100 were convictions, a year earlier, with almost the same number of convictions being 81. In general, the SDTs have noted that in recent years, the courts in which the courts deal with the most complex economic and corruption offenses have demanded higher standards of proof in recent years.
Regarding the prosecution of bank crime, the report states that the MMF had 72 cases opened in this area last year. Most of them are already in the courts, which means that inquiries have been filed or are pending, and indictments have been filed or a trial is underway.
By the end of last year, 14 judgments were issued in banking, 12 of which were convictions, for a total of 18 persons, of which 13 were bankers. Seven convictions for eight persons are already final and a punitive order against one person is also final. The total amount of illicit property gain or damage caused in these cases amounts to approximately EUR 42 million.
The SDTs note that knowledge of professional banking issues in the courts is still emerging, so they propose the establishment of a single specialized court for economic and corruption offenses as one of the solutions to speed up the trial.
For a good third
He also sent his report on the work last year to the National Assembly for the investigation and prosecution of officials with special powers at the SDT, which is primarily concerned with prosecuting crimes committed by police officers.
The aforementioned section notes that the number of cases they receive has increased by more than a third from 2015 (166) to last year (221). Last year, the department investigated 295 cases in total, 268 cases a year earlier, and 265 cases in 2017, “indicating a steady increase in the number of cases.” 97 per cent of the perpetrators are police officers and the other three per cent are other officials with special powers.