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September 30, 2020

SRI Chief: Intelligence services did not inform the President about the brother-Bercea relation

The Defence committee of the Senate will demand SPP to file a report, but will not question the chief of the Service, Lucian Pahontu.

The chief of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior yesterday announced that there existed a briefing sent to President Traian Basescu about the activities of the Bercea clan in October 2009, but the head of state was right when he said that he was not informed about the relation between Sandu Anghel, known as Bercea Mondial, and his brother.
The SRI chief added that during 2001-2012 SRI conducted 8 informative-operative actions referring to the organised crime activities of the Bercea group. “It did not contain that information referring to the relation between Bercea and his brother.

In the statement made yesterday, the president was right when he said that intelligence services did not approach this matter in a separate briefing,” the SRI chief mentioned, quoted by Mediafax. He added that the surveillance of the clan focused on operations like charging protection taxes in various counties or the control exerted directly or through proxies of tax evasion operations.
Subsequent to George Maior’s statements, the SRI Committee adopted in unanimity the report solicited by the leadership of the two Houses on the notifications made by the service in the Bercea Mondial case, which also include the explanation that President Basescu was informed in 2009 about the illegal operations of the clan. According to the document, SRI sent 13 informative documents to central beneficiaries, 14 notes to local decision makers and 19 notifications to the penal investigative institutions regarding the activity of the Bercea clan.
Also yesterday, the members of the Committee for defence, public order and national security ruled with majority of votes to ask the Guard and Protection Service (SPP) only a report on how President Basescu was informed on the activity of his brother without questioning the chief of the service, Lucian Pahontu. The announcement was made at the end of the session by PSD Senator Ilie Sarbu, a member of the committee, who added that the chairman of the committee, Corneliu Dobritoiu, voted for questioning the chief of SPP. Sarbu however said that the report requested to SPP on the informative protection of the head of state is unrelated to the political statement to be adopted today by the Parliament. The PSD senator also mentioned that “all around the Basescu family, corruption is flourishing” and asked journalists to look “around” the president, while also accusing the press loyal to Basescu of trying to generate a similar scandal in the Ponta family.
In a different move, PNL lawmakers adopted yesterday in the joint groups a draft declaration distinct from that of Senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, on the honorary resignation of President Traian Basescu which, unlike the position adopted Monday by PNL senators, does not include a resignation of Premier Victor Ponta.

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