Chair of the Senate’s Defence Committee Marcel Vela (National Liberal Party senator – ed.n.) announced on Monday that Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea is invited to present within this forum the reasons why certain dignitaries renounced the services of the Protection and Guard Service (SPP).
“In order to close a delicate and burning topic, given that until today the committee hasn’t been institutionally notified in relation to these aspects, we have decided to invite next week Mr Chairman of PSD Liviu Dragnea, so that he can present the concrete evidence regarding these allegations and the decision he made together with the Social-Democrat colleagues to give up on SPP services. After this hearing, depending on what is documented and proven within the committee, we can pursue the hearings with Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Stanescu to present to us that discreet character he had talks with related to national security and last but not least, with Romania’s Prime Minister who is, as you well know, Deputy Chair of CSAT [Supreme Council for National Defence – ed.n.] and this decision to renounce the services of the SPP can place classified documents of CSAT under uncertainty,” Vela said in Parliament, after the National Liberal Party (PNL)’s Executive Bureau.
He showed that depending on facts and evidence to be presented in the committee it is possible that the head of the Protection and Guard Service Lucian Pahontu be invited at hearings.
Vela specified that a decision regarding the invite list will be made in the Senate’s Defence Committee plenary sitting.
He highlighted that a committee conclusion is very important.
“Procedurally, when the investigation ends or perhaps it will continue after next week as well, the members of the committee will make a proposal in the end, that will be brought to the public opinion’s awareness. (…) Any proposal on behalf of the committee can be legally approached by the President, by CSAT, by the public opinion but the conclusion must be substantiated, proven and evidenced,” Vela further said.
PSD Chairman: Investigation committee regarding SPP is required; more information started to come out
Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that the setting up of an investigation committee regarding the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) is required, because “more and more pieces of information started to come out.”
When asked whether or not he will go to the Senate’s Defence Committee, where he had been invited by Liberal Marcel Vela, the chair of this forum, in order to present the reasons for which some dignitaries gave up SPP services, Dragnea stated he will go to any parliamentary committee.
“This is what we get for talking, that they call us in for hearings,” Dagnea added ironically at the Palace of Parliament.
Dragnea: SPP head uses institution to collect information and influence Gov’t and parties
On Sunday evening, House Speaker and Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea told Romania TV private television broadcaster that the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) head, Lucian Pahontu (photo), for many years, has used the employees of this institution to collect information and to try to influence people in the Government or in the political parties, in one way or the other, and he also sent “certain messages” to prosecutors and judges.
“I didn’t come here with the SPP, but with a collaborator who is a driver. I have done this for years, I haven’t benefited from the SPP services, I haven’t had institutional relations with the SPP since I became House Speaker, I did not benefit from the protection and guard services, motorcade or other facilities, I have refused to do so from the beginning of my term in office, for a very serious reason: I do not trust the head of this institution, Mr. Pahontu, for I know that for many years he did more than his job required him to do, for many years he used this institution, its employees, to collect information, on one hand, and to try to influence, on the other hand, and sometimes he even succeeded, people from the Government, and from the political parties, in one way or the other,” said Dragnea.
He also added that the SPP head used to go to the prosecutors’ offices and judges to bring them “certain messages.”
“I know from the past years that he did something which was very harmful, and I don’t know if he stopped doing it, that he went to the prosecutors’ offices, courts or he spoke to the prosecutors and judges, bringing them certain messages. All those with whom I discussed this matter said that most messages were, practically, from himself, while he claimed they were messages from the presidents, the one before and the current president. Most of those who told me this over time told me that their opinion was that neither of the presidents – the one we had before and the current one – actually used him,” said Liviu Dragnea.
The House Speaker also added that most ministers took for granted that the SPP officers needed to inform the head of the institution about what they did.
“What information was there for this man to collect about a minister to protect him/her? Honestly, what information could he have needed to protect them? On the contrary, most of the ministers I talked with, not just in 2017, it is hilarious, all of them took for granted that the SPP officers needed to tell Pahontu where they were and what they did,” underscored Dragnea.
He also mentioned that Deputy Prime Minister Paul Stanescu said this “very clearly.”
“Where does it say in the job description that the SPP head needs to stick his nose into political matters, into the internal matters of the political parties, and needs to try to influence the members of the Government? This is really a matter of national security,” said Dragnea.
The PSD leader also added that he did not believe President Klaus Iohannis would be interested to know where a certain minister goes and whom he meets, while underscoring that the head of the state himself is vulnerable.