In an interview for the German magazine Der Spiegel, former President Ion Iliescu said having offered CIA a “headquarters” in Romania, but declares that Romanian authorities did not interfere in the activities of the American service.
“Der Spiegel” comments that the former Romanian President is “the second Head of the State that acknowledges the existence of secret CIA detention centres, after former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski”.
In the interview granted to journalist Keno Verseck, Ion Iliescu declared that, at the time between the end of the year 2002 and the beginning of 2003, “our American allies asked us to offer them a headquarters.” As Head of the State, Ion Iliescu approved the request in principles. The details were managed by former Head of Presidential Administration and National Security Advisor Ioan Talpes, Der Spiegel pointed out.
Ion Iliescu, says the magazine, only talks about “one headquarters.” He did not know whether there was a secret prison, according to his statements. “It was a gesture of benevolence in the times that preceded our joining NATO”, the former President declared for Ger Spiegel, according to Hotnews.
“We never interfered in their activities that took place there. I, as Head of the State, considered it was a minor topic. We were allies, we were fighting together in Afghanistan and the Mideast, so we did not enter details related to the demand of an ally to have a headquarters in Romania”, Ion Iliescu declared.
MEP Norica Nicolai, who had conducted a few years ago the Parliament committee that had investigated the scandal of illegal CIA prisons in Romania declared that the declarations of the former President to not contradict the official position of the state. Romania denied that there were such prisons on its territory.
“As for the collaboration with the Foreign Intelligence Service, CIA had a privileged position. I am convinced that there was a building offered to the CIA residence for Romania, but I am not convinced that it was used for the famous transfers or for a CIA prison. I think that this doubtful matter should be cleared out, regarding CIA prisons on Romanian territory, and they may only be cleared out by a legal inquiry granted all means of procedure in order to adequately, seriously and thoroughly investigate the existence of CIA detention centres on Romania’s territory, Norica Nicolai declared in a phone intervention for Digi24.
The former Head of Presidential Administration Ioan Talpes also confirmed for Der Spiegel Ion Iliescu’s statements about the location destined for CIA, explaining that a building in Bucharest was offered to the American agency and used between 2003 – 2006, and that Romanian authorities did not know what activities the Americans had carried out.
Ioan Talpes, Head of the Presidential Administration and Head of the Presidential Department for National Security, confirmed that President Ion Iliescu granted him full freedom to assign headquarters to CIA.
Talpes mentioned that the location was granted in Bucharest and used during 2003 – 2006, and mentioned that the headquarters does not exist at the time being.
According to the former Presidential advisor, Romanian authorities have announced CIA that they expected no notifications related to the activities performed in the respective headquarters. “I never saw the respective location personally. We were aware that there could be dangerous things”, Talpes declared, according to Der Spiegel.
Former President Traian Basescu denied last week the statements made by a journalist who had claimed that there were CIA prisons on Romania’s territory and that people have been tortured there, outlining that there was no proof that such detention centres ever functioned on the territory of our country. Asked on Friday evening at Realitatea TV whether there were CIA prisons in Romania, where people were tortured, the former Head of the State claimed that he did not know. Asked whether he had read the report of the USA Congress on CIA prisons worldwide, Basescu admitted he did, but went on to mention that “there was no proof such prisons existed on Romania’s territory.”