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Romania court finds immunity law unconstitutional

Romania's Constitutional Court [official website] on Wednesday rejected legislation that would make it more difficult to prosecute elected government officials and make libel a criminal offense after criticism from abroad. The draft law would have provided lawmakers and government officials immunity from prosecution [AP report] in corruption cases while in office. The legislation was passed by Romanian lawmakers on December 9. However, the US, along with the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Romanian president Traian Basescu and opposition lawmakers criticized the vote, calling the law "a step away from transparency and rule-of-law."

Last November Human Rights Watch called on Yemen to strike down a 2012 law providing blanket immunity [JURIST report] to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The law was passed in April 2011 [JURIST report] and grants Saleh immunity from prosecution for any actions taken during his 32-year rule and also protects his aids from all political crimes. Also in November, the Czech Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that former prime minister Petr Necas is not entitled to immunity from corruption charges.

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