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July 1, 2022

DNA Chief Prosecutor, dissatisfied with Foreign Intelligence Service: “It’s illegal to have this information and not notify the DNA”

National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi said Tuesday that she did not receive any report from Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) in the time after she took over her office.

“In 2015, out of 5,988 registered cases, 90 were based on reports from the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), 22 on reports from the Internal Intelligence and Protection Department (DIPI) of the Interior Ministry and four on reports from the Directorate General for Defence Intelligence (DGIA) with the Defence Ministry. Nevertheless, I have noticed that the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) scored low. I could say that in 2015 we received no intelligence from SIE and neither did we in 2014 and 2013. In fact, I have not received any counterintelligence report form SIE since I took over the office,” Kovesi told the release of a Freedom House Romania report on the recovery of proceeds of crime and the second edition of the DNA Sustainability Index drawn up by the Romanian Centre for European Policies.

In this context, she stated that many of those probed are transferring their wealth abroad, and SIE should notify the DNA about this because national security is concerned when millions of Euros are transferred abroad.

The DNA’s Chief Prosecutor asked how could a suspect buy a EUR 6 M home in France without SIE officers knowing and notifying the DNA about it. Kovesi pointed out that SIE, just like the other services, has the obligation to send intelligence reports when they notice criminal aspects in the activities they carry out, Digi24 informs.

“Do we believe real-estate properties can be bought for EUR 6-7 M and no intelligence officer could stumble on this? It’s illegal to have this information and not notify the DNA. I cannot explain this. It’s a legal obligation that any intelligence officer, any intelligence service director has to respect. I find it hard to believe there is no information. National security is concerned when someone transfers millions of Euros abroad, when considerable sums of money are being transferred through offshores,” Kovesi emphasised, Mediafax informs.


Foreign Intelligence Service says monitoring Romanians abroad is out of its scope


The Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) does not monitor Romanian citizens abroad, it pointed out in a release on Tuesday, responding to a statement of National Anticorruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.

“We estimate as Madam Chief Prosecutor’s point of view is generated by a misunderstanding of the specific involved in the foreign intelligence / espionage work, namely the fact that obtaining secret or confidential information concerning the national security and the defence of Romania’s interests are carried out mainly through human resources (HUMINT) and by specific methods and means. The SIE does not monitor the Romanian citizens abroad, this practice being specific to the former Securitate [author’s note – Communist secret police], and also does not monitor bank accounts and transfers, real estate or other purchases of Romanian citizens abroad,” reads the release posted on the service’s website.


 SIE Director asked to respond to Kovesi’s accusations


Mihaita Calimente, chairman of the parliamentary commission that oversees the activity of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), pointed out for Mediafax on Tuesday that he will invite SIE Director Mihai Razvan Ungureanu to clear up the accusations brought by DNA Director Laura Codruta Kovesi.

“After Easter, we will have a discussion concerning the statements made by DNA Director Laura Codruta Kovesi,” PNL MP Mihaita Calimente stated, adding that the talks will be scheduled in relation to the agenda of the SIE Director too.

He added that the members of the commission want to see to what extent there were problems in the DNA-SIE relationship. “We want to clarify whether SIE has prerogatives in this concern or not, if there were communication problems. It is not an interrogation, we want to have some talks,” Calimente added.

Asked whether Teodor Melescanu, director of SIE during the period the DNA director talked about, will also be invited at the hearings, Calimente stated that that is not required.


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