Flaviu CIOPEC, PhD
West University of Timișoara, Law Faculty
The study aims at analyzing a controversial issue of criminal trials when it comes to corruption offenses, namely the legal standing of the approver.
It examines the compatibility of the approver with the status of witness of the accusation, his possibility to participate in a trial as a distinct subject, as well as the impossibility of using his testimony as evidence.
A distinction is made between the approver who assisted or found out about an offense, thus revealing facts from the perspective of an observer, and the approver participant to an offense, a situation in which, given certain exculpatory defenses or circumstances that entail a decrease in the limits of penalties which operate in his benefit, he appears as a person with an interest at trial.
Several examples from caselaw are discussed, in order to assess the manner in which judicial authorities addressed the topic under debate, as well as the arguments of the doctrine in the same matter.
Finally, the study focuses on the criteria applied to assess the evidence derived from the approver or obtained with his support, from the perspective of the new evidentiary standard, i.e. ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, which has emerged in the Romanian criminal trial.