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August 4, 2021

Basescu continues to train his guns on SRI and DNA: SRI has to be vigorously placed under oversight, bill on magistrates’ responsibility needed for the DNA

Ex-president Traian Basescu stated on Saturday evening at a talk-show that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has to be “vigorously” placed under oversight by an “extremely powerful” parliamentary commission, while the bill on magistrates’ responsibility is the instrument with which the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) can be placed under oversight.

Traian Basescu stated on Romania TV that it is obvious that there are problems in what concerns the parliamentary oversight of intelligence services, problems that can be resolved in his opinion by “an extremely powerful” parliamentary oversight commission. “SRI has to be vigorously placed under oversight,” the ex-president emphasised.

In what concerns the DNA, he believes that it can be placed under oversight through the adoption of the bill on magistrates’ responsibility.

“Placing the DNA under parliamentary oversight is not the instrument, the instrument is the bill on magistrates’ responsibility,” the ex-president said, adding that the adoption of this bill would put an end to many cases of abuse.

Referring to the statements made by Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, according to which Romania is led by the DNA and SRI, their goal being to prevent ALDE from entering the future Parliament, Basescu laughingly said that he does not believe ALDE is a target.

“I want to give you a few examples showing we are not a rule of law state and Mr. Iohannis is not unaware of this,” the PMP President said.

He mentioned the final ruling made in the case concerning one of the houses of the Iohannis family. The President said he was not pleased with the ruling, after which a retrial was approved and the trial was transferred to a different court. Likewise, the ex-president claimed that former National Integrity Agency (ANI) President Horia Georgescu was “handcuffed” because he insisted focusing on Klaus Iohannis’s incompatibility case.

The PMP President thus reopened the mafia state topic, finding common ground with his former political opponent Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the latter having publicly asked the Head of State to verify the information previously presented by Basescu.

Tariceanu asked Iohannis to take responsibility and dismiss DNA Director Laura Codruta Kovesi and SRI First Deputy Director Florian Coldea, provided the ex-president’s statements are real. Basescu had asked for the dismissal of the First Deputy Directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE).

“In Romania the rule of law is operational and the statements made by some persons who are accused or indicted, statements that put into doubt or challenge this fact, lack credibility. I have confidence in what the state institutions are doing and, alongside the entire public opinion, I am waiting to see the positive effects of their activity. At the same time, labels such as “mafia state” can affect Romania’s image abroad, can lead to the discrediting of some institutions and, last but not least, are proving the inability of some persons who hold or held important public offices to take on the role for which they were appointed or elected,” Iohannis answered after Tariceanu asked him to verify Basescu’s statements according to which DNA and SRI are no longer under parliamentary oversight.

Tariceanu expressed his disappointment with the answer he received from the President, stating that Iohannis “does not see some things and pretends not seeing others,” because he is “the product of the system.”

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