Lower Chamber lawmaker and former minister Elena Udrea confirmed on Monday that she knew that Dan Andronic, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ daily’s suspended owner, was being monitored by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) on the basis of a national security warrant. Journalist Ion Cristoiu found the information in the “diary” that Elena Udrea kept during the presidential elections campaign in 2014. Although in the passage that Cristoiu presented Udrea states that she found out from Alina Bica (former head of DIICOT) that she signed a phone tapping warrant that SRI had asked on Andronic’s name, the journalist subsequently modified the information. Udrea in fact told Cristoiu that she simply found out that Alina Bica had signed that warrant, without saying from whom. In that diary fragment, Udrea emphasizes that Traian Basescu, who was president at the time, “often” talked to Andronic by phone, thus suggesting that SRI may have tapped the President’s phone conversations.
On Monday, Elena Udrea claimed she wanted to emphasize the fact that the intelligence services may have spied on the acting president.
“It’s not about 2011. I believe it’s important and I’ve seen that the debate is heading in a wrong direction in what concerns what I wrote in the 2014 diary; at that moment it seemed relevant to me that Romania’s acting president may have had his phone tapped. It didn’t matter the context, the monitoring of Andronic, of X or Y, what mattered was that Romania’s acting president at that time may have had his phone conversations tapped,” Udrea told journalists at the High Court of Justice (ICCJ).
Asked who gave her access to that information, Udrea answered: “No comment, you realize I won’t tell you this; however, what’s important in this incident or situation is whether the Romanian President’s phone was tapped, even if an intermediary was used.”
Udrea said she is not aware something like this happened to former American president George Bush or former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Journalist Dan Andronic, currently under house arrest, is investigated in a property restitution case alongside several other persons, including Prince Paul and businessman Remus Truica.
Former minister appeals against bail
Also at the ICCJ, Udrea stated that she takes some of the blame for the fact that the Criminal Codes were adopted with errors in them, one of the errors being the fact that a maximum level is not stipulated in what concerns the bail.
Elena Udrea showed up at the ICCJ on Monday in a case that concerns her appeal against the conditional bail decision and the RON 5 M bail that the National Anticorruption Directorate instituted in the case in which she is accused of receiving bribes from businessman Bogdan Buzaianu. During the trial, Udrea invoked an exception of unconstitutionality related to the fact that the Criminal Procedure Code does not stipulate a maximum level for the bail.
“In what concerns the bail, there are various levels. The prosecutor’s office sets very high bail, while the courts either set no bail or set low-level bail. There is no criterion one could relate to in what concerns the maximum level. The law states that a bail cannot fall below RON 1,000, however it does not state how high it can go. It could go as high as RON 50 M just as well. This Procedure Code stipulation is unpredictable and this is the reason why I invoked an exception of unconstitutionality,” Udrea stated. She claimed that when it comes to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code unconstitutional stipulations have been noted in over 30 situations.
“I took some of the blame, as a member of the Government that initiated these Codes and as a member of the Parliament that subsequently voted in favour of the ordinance, and I expressed my hope that the High Court and the Constitutional Court will correct these mistakes we politicians made, considering that we can no longer expect today’s Parliament to correct these errors,” Udrea said.
Udrea was arraigned on April 21 in the “Bute Boxing Gala” case, being accused of passive bribery, malfeasance in office and attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or statements in order to illicitly obtain European funds.
Former Economy Minister Ion Ariton, former Romanian Boxing Federation President Rudel Obreja, Tudor Breazu (the administrator of the plots of lands owned by Elena Udrea in Nana commune), Elena Udrea’s former aide Stefan Lungu, former Regional Development and Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Gheorghe Nastasia, former National Investment Company Director Ana Maria Topoliceanu and businessman Dragos Marius Botoroaga were also arraigned.