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February 3, 2023

Catalin Harnagea, prosecuted in the Microsoft file: “Anything happens is related to the date of presidential elections and their results”

Former head of SIE Catalin Harnagea, whose house was searched on Thursday by DNA prosecutors in the Microsoft file, declared that the accusations were based on a contract his company signed with EADS. “They came to me in order to demand documents on the one-year and a half or two-year contract my company had with EADS.  It was an external contract signed directly with EADS and lasted during 2005 – 2006, something like that. I was in no public position, I was not employed by the state”, Harnagea declared for Antena 3, mentioning he had had a counselling contract, not one o technical or juridical expertise and that his company was demanded to perform an analysis regarding a project of securing borders and assisting EADS in their visits and encounters with the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and of the Border Department.
Last Thursday, DNA prosecutors carried out 56 searches in Bucharest and Ilfov County, at the headquarters of companies, foundations and residences of given persons, related to the signing of IT licence-based contracts. Some of the locations searched were the home of the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Catalin Harnagea, businessman Dorin Cocos, Elena Udrea’s ex-husband, businessmen Remus Truica and Nicolae Dumitru, who controls the Niro group of companies, former Minister Gabriel Sandu, former presidential advisor Dorin Marian, the father of COSR president Adrian Petrache and the headquarters of the Dinu Pescariu Foundation.
According to DNA, the persons of the Government, Ministries and the companies involved in the project regarding Microsoft licences for schools allegedly demanded USD 20 million out of the 54 paid by the Government as stipulated by the contract.
Asked whether he thinks the investigation is connected in any way to Traian Basescu’s statements regarding SIE, the former head of the service declared: “If these things take place during the last month of such a violent electoral campaign, that includes so many accusations going beyond the boundaries of normality and law, you may suspect anything. If things happened long before or after the campaign, it would have been a sign of normality. Anything happens, especially in the last two weeks, is related to the date of presidential elections and their results”.
Businessman Dorin Cocos: “I did not run away from the country!”
Among all defendants in the Microsoft file, Dorin Cocos has caused the greatest amount of controversy. As his house was being searched by the DNA prosecutors, the businessman was nowhere to be found and his absence from the country at this time was considered an attempt to escape legal responsibility. Journalist Radu Tudor has written on his blog that “this was one of the most spectacular events of the last ten years”, involving Dorin Cocos, the “businessman who was closest to Traian Basescu thanks to his wife, Elena Udrea, the president’s affinity and protégée”, the journalist employed by Antena 3 mentioned, before comparing Cocos’ alleged attempt to escape to that of Omar Hayssam.
“When Omar Hayssam was removed from the country in an operation controlled in 2006, Basescu pretended to be surprised and dismissed all the heads of departments and the general prosecutors. He had found the perfect opportunity to get rid of the people appointed during the preceding regime. The disappearance of Cocos, after ten years of active existence and explosive political and financial activity at the edge of power, has a meaning that is infinitely more serious than Hayssam’s story. (…) When you intentionally let the millionaire of a state’s president to escape from a country during an explosive investigation targeted against him, somebody must answer for that”.
Yet, Dorin Cocos appears to have been attended a business trip and will return this week, as he declared for the daily paper Evenimentul Zilei. “I called to tell you I did not run away from the country, I have legally left ten days ago and I will return next week. It was a business trip planned a long time ago and I had no clue there were searches to follow. I have talked on the phone with officers conducting the search and told them where I was keeping the documents they showed interest in. If any of the people who have told or written nonsense  about my travelling would have searched for me, they would have found out that I left ten days ago and that I was to return next week”, Dorin Cocos declared.

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