On the 26th June 2017 at short notice Bernie Gravett was invited to address the Romanian Parliamentary Commission on countering human trafficking.
Bernie is an accredited expert on Romanian organised crime and human trafficking as was asked to comment on weaknesses in the Romanian criminal justice system and recommendations on how to improve the fight against the crimes of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Addressing the representatives and guests Bernie outlined concerns of the time taken to complete trials under the Romanian system.He highlighted a case where 26 human traffickers were arrested and charged in 2010 and the case has yet to reach trial so far. This is frustrating for the investigators and provideds little protection for victims. With pre trial detention limited to only 6 months the organised crime group continues to operate pending the trial. The longer a case takes to complete there is a greater risk of corruption or eventual case failure.
A second point made by Bernie was the judicial process for asset confiscation remains weak in Romania. While there are laws in place for assets to be confiscated this is a criminal process that can only commence following conviction of a predicate crime. With the trial process taking so long many opportunities are missed and assets dispersed by the criminals.
Bernie's speech was circulated on Romanian media and the minutes published widely.