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February 3, 2023

Basescu would fire the heads of DNA and DIICOT: “They are thirsty for power”

Popular Movement (MP) President Traian Basescu stated on Wednesday evening that the demands made by the heads of DNA (National Anticorruption Directorate), DIICOT (Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism) and IGPR (General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police), in what concerns the resources needed to endow their institutions with equipment needed to intercept communications, show that they are thirsty for power and should vacate their offices. In his opinion, they should have asked Parliament to create a neutral civilian authority in this domain or a similar structure within the General Prosecutor’s Office.

“All these institutions are public institutions. So their leaders are civil servants, albeit extraordinarily well paid civil servants that want to gain power, because whoever has information has power. Who has information goes to a politician and tells him: “ha, ha, ha, mister, we know.” Just like Securitate members were doing before the Revolution. (…) If I were Romania’s President I would fire all those who asked for equipment and extra funds today,” Traian Basescu stated on Wednesday evening on Romania TV, asked for his opinion on the demands that the heads of DNA, DIICOT and IGPR made after the Constitutional Court decision on the unconstitutional character of certain regulations concerning surveillance activities.

Asked whether he is talking about DNA Chief Laura Codruta Kovesi too, the former head of state said: “I don’t know who… because I was on a plane, but they are all civil servants thirsty for power, regardless of who made the demand.”

“All these public sector employees should have said: ‘we ask Parliament to create a neutral civil authority for monitoring the tapping of communications.” But public sector employees were in a hurry to tell us what a disaster this is, ‘we want equipment, we want everything we need.’ Instead of saying: ‘the equipment exists, the problem is who controls it.’ This is the moment in which we can create the national surveillance authority that would no longer be a militarized institution but one placed under civilian control,” Basescu said.

He added that one could imagine, apart from the civilian authority option, a structure subordinated to the General Prosecutor’s Office.

“I don’t know why these two autonomous directorates of the General Prosecutor’s Office – the DNA and DIICOT – did not say ‘we have to have at the General Prosecutor’s Office equipment that would benefit us all.’ I give you another option, other than what I said about a civilian authority. Look at how every head of public institution wants power. (…) These people should no longer be at the helm of public institutions. (…) These people should leave, they are sick with power,” the MP President said.

Basescu also said that following the Constitutional Court decision “all cases are not compromised and all criminals are not falling,” bearing in mind that intercepted communications included in case files are only one of the elements used in a criminal investigation. “The intercepts are words, the prosecutor has to put on top of the words actions made by those whom they accuse. So, intercepts will continue to be used,” the MP President added.

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