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Court considers controversial decree after protests

According to the new decree, a corrupt official will go to jail only if the funds involved exceed 47,500 dollars.

A woman holds a placard reading Justice not Corruption during a protest against government corruption in Bucharest January 22, 2017

The court has been presented with three challenges against the emergency decree, which weakens anti-corruption laws.

New protests saw thousands demonstrate against the government’s actions.

President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Malta that there was no risk for foreign investors despite the crisis.

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The decree, passed by cabinet, went into effect immediately.

The rule also allows for corrupt officials to escape punishment completely in some instances, for example if the crime occurs between members of the same family.

One of the cases challenging  the decree was filed by the ombudsman for civil rights, Victor Ciorbea.

He had been close to the government and previously spoken out against a legal challenge.

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