Romania’s constitutional court has complained of pressure including death threats against some of its judges, in a second appeal to European bodies for protection amid a power struggle between the country’s government and president.
A senior official of the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights body, on Tuesday described the pressure on the Bucharest court as “shocking”.
The court has said it will rule on August 31 on whether the result of a July 29 referendum to remove Romania’s president Traian Basescu was valid. Some government officials are insisting it was.
News of the court’s letter emerged as the head of an International Monetary Fund mission to Romania warned the country’s acting president, Crin Antonescu, that the fund was concerned about the economic fall-out from the power struggle.
Romania’s central bank was on Monday forced to make what traders said was its heaviest intervention to date to support the national currency, the leu, which has slumped against the euro and dollar since the crisis began in June.
The political turmoil has paralysed policy-making in Romania and raised international concerns over the rule of law in the European Union’s seventh largest country by population.