One day after she was placed under criminal prosecution with charges of money laundering and false wealth statements, former Development minister Elena Udrea shocked Romanian politics on Friday with allegations linking the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) with influential politicians and businessmen accused of corruption.
In an interview with www. hotnews.ro Udrea said that she denounced interim head of SRI general Florian Coldea at the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA). Udrea, former presidential candidate in November 2014 elections, claims that Coldea, who is currently the interim Director of SRI after George Maior’s resignation, asked her ex-husband Dorin Cocos to give out 500,000 euro to Sebastian Ghita several years ago, in order to support Romania TV news channel Ghita had just established. She suggested the money went to Sebastian Ghita through Alin Cocos, the son of Dorin Cocos.
According to Udrea, the DNA’s head name Laura Codruta Kovesi was also mentioned , but she didn’t provide any details in what context she mentioned DNA’s chief prosecutor.
In the interview with www.hotnews.ro Udrea also claimed she lobbied PM Victor Ponta to name Codruta Kovesi as head of the anti-corruption body DNA.
In reaction to Udrea’s allegations, Laura Codruta Kovesi told HotNews.ro that “it was not the first time when suspects under investigation make libelous allegations about me and I wouldn’t comment”.
The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) on Thursday ordered the investigation of deputy Elena Udrea under judicial restriction in the case where she faces charges of money laundering (in the form of having acquired/used goods about which she knew that they had been illegally obtained) and of making false wealth statements.
“The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate – Section for the combat of corruption related offenses – ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings and a 60-day restriction, starting January 29, 2015 until March 29, against Elena Gabriela Udrea for the crime of money laundering (in the form of acquiring / using goods about which she knew that they had been illegally obtained) and making false wealth statements,” reads a DNA release.
Sebastian Ghita, a member of Ponta’s Social Democrat Party until two months ago, and also a close friend of the Prime Minister, said he was surprised about the accusations and denied that the TV news channel set up by him had had any link with Cocos.
SRI’s spokesman Sorin Sava stated on Friday evening that the service would not comment statements made by suspects facing criminal inquiries, nor the situation of criminal cases to which SRI has contributed for investigation.