One day after she was placed under criminal prosecution with charges of money laundering and false wealth statements, People’s Movement Party (PMP) leader Elena Udrea shocked Romanian politics on Friday with allegations linking the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) with influential politicians and businessmen accused of corruption.
Former Development Minister and former presidential candidate for the 2014 elections, Elena Udrea launched harsh accusations against General Florian Coldea (photo) in an interview with hotnews.ro, accusing the SRI leader of violating the Service attributions, of interfering in politics, of financially supporting a television station and of fabricating legal files. She also accused him of putting pressure on justice regarding files presently investigated and worked on. The accusations were filed also in a complaint submitted at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
In the interview with www. hotnews.ro Udrea said that she denounced interim head of SRI general Florian Coldea at the DNA. Udrea 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.
“Florin Coldea was the actual leader of SRI even when George Maior was the official manager of the institution”, Elena Udrea declared in her interview for hotnews.ro. She said that Coldea, although very little known in the public space, was the person who has really led and controlled Romania. “When I was telling Mr. Maior that Mr. Coldea was the actual leader of the service and that his target was to gain complete power, Maior kept replying that things were not precisely this way and he assured me many times: “You will see, Mr. Coldea will resign this service when I do because we were brought by Traian Basescu and we are leaving when he leaves.” I would be curious now if Mr. Maior still says this thing”, Elena Udrea confessed in her interview for Hotnews.ro.
“Florin Coldea was fully interested to support Klaus Iohannis in the presidential campaign, as Victor Ponta threatened to dismiss him”, Udrea added.
“There was another aspect Victor Ponta should confirm. I have heard him saying it many times and he had actively contributed to the campaign for Mr. Klaus Iohannis (which is not a bad thing; it is obvious for all of us that, comparing Victor Ponta to Klaus Iohannis, it is a great thing to have Mr. Iohannis as a President). There were rumours that, one day, as Victor Ponta’s birthday was coming, some time in autumn, in an unofficial meeting attended both by Mr. Victor Ponta and Mr. Coldea, Mr. Ponta allegedly told Mr. Coldea: “General, if I become President, you should start seeking a job. (…) And consider that I have the courage to tell you this thing under the circumstances that I have not become the President yet.”
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.
Two members of the Parliamentary Commission over the SRI control, Teodor Atanasiu and Daniel Savu said that Coldea will be summoned and questioned by the Commission over the statements made by Elena Udrea and on the legal aspects of SRI actions.
Reactions generated by the interview show the fear that the Service inspires among those vulnerable to blackmail
Elena Udrea wrote on Facebook on Saturday that the reactions generated by the interview in which she accused Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) interim director Florian Coldea of involvement in politics shows the fear that the Service inspires among those vulnerable to blackmail or whose political or press careers depend on the benevolence of the intelligence services.
Elena Udrea shows that the reactions to her accusations against Florin Coldea are atypical, considering that a denunciation against a politician generates in the public space pre-trial opinions concerning his guilt or neutral reactions the likes of “the judiciary should investigate.” “When revelations appeared about Florin Coldea (head of SRI), some attacked me and tried to already declare him not-guilty, before any action taken by the judiciary,” the PMP MP notes.
Secondly, the reactions to the scandal generated by her statements prove, according to Udrea, that SRI inspires fear among many politicians and press commentators. “We can accuse an MP, a minister, a prime minister or even a president without problems. But when I accused a secret service general there was panic! This reaction shows the fear that SRI generates among those who have skeletons in their closets, among politicians, the press etc.,” Elena Udrea writes.
She threatens to expand on the statements she has made, this time in front of the prosecutors that will investigate the criminal complaint filed against Florian Coldea.
“Personally I expect absolutely anything; set-ups, “revelations,” photographs etc., because now they will want to shut me up even more. The important thing is to be aware of the huge danger of this moment: total power in the hands of a man about whom nothing is publicly known, but who holds everyone’s secrets,” Udrea added, referring to Florian Coldea.
Claiming she does not feel safe after her revelations, Udrea said that she has hired a bodyguard that is on duty around the clock.
After the statement made on Sunday by the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for the control over the SRI, Georgian Pop, that the hearing of general Coldea will take place after the internal inquiry inside the SRI following Elena Udrea’ allegations, the PMP leader wrote again of Facebook: “Coldea requests time to solve the internal problems after my disclosures. Practically, he needs time to cover up things. Possibly until he “solves me”, wrote Elena Udrea on her Facebook page.
Udrea charged for money laundering and false wealth statements
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.