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September 24, 2021
JUSTICE

Alina Bica on meeting with Kovesi arranged by Traian Basescu: It was tense

Ex-President Traian Basescu recently admitted that he called to his office Alina Bica, Head of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) at the time, and National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi because there was allegedly a conflict between the two. Alina Bica offered details about the mediation meeting.

“Several weeks ago, there was talk of a mediation (at President Iohannis’s initiative – editor’s note) between the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) and the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, Ms. Laura Codruta Kovesi. On that occasion, everybody said “it’s abnormal,” but I said “it’s normal.” I too have had experiences – not one experience, experiences – of this kind, when the heads of institutions did not get along and were also conflicting the institutions. I gave a single example, which I maintain now too: the moment I found out there was great tension between the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, Ms. Kovesi, and the Chief Anti-mafia prosecutor, Ms. Alina Bica. Of course, the reason was a third party that was playing in-between them. I summoned both chief prosecutors, I warned them that it is not all right for the DNA to collide with DIICOT – and now I recall the apparent reason too: the arrest of commissioner Berbeceanu, whom DIICOT had arrested. It seems the local DIICOT office was settling scores with commissioner Berbeceanu,” Basescu said.

“But, no doubt Alina Bica was informed by her territorial branch. This episode was the last straw in the dispute between them, but Alina Bica was under terrible pressure at the time to favourably solve the Tender case – and I’m not going to say from whom. I said it publicly too that I’m willing to take the witness stand in this trial, if the trial can take place behind closed door, because I can contribute to clarifying the context. At the same time, at DIICOT there was a case involving a random deputy director at Transgaz, he’s name was Lascu. I knew these things. They were not said to my face but I knew. I summoned the two chief prosecutors, [asking them] not to alter the functioning of institutions over a dispute concerning Berbeceanu – a judge was going to be the one who was going to settle it. I won’t hide from you that back then I received a report from commissioner Berbeceanu – who had appealed to the Romanian President, considering himself the victim of injustice – and I sent it to the General Police Inspectorate. So we had such a talk. I believe it was the spark for what followed, because although they both said “understood,” one of them was quicker on the draw. And although I started off from the premise that I wanted to do something good, I managed to do the opposite – to push Ms. Bica into getting herself arrested,” the ex-President said.

“It’s clear that, details aside, I too reached the conclusion that God forbid you get caught up in the hatred between two women. They had an older conflict – a professional one – dating back from the time when Ms. Kovesi was Prosecutor General. That is why I said that if I’m accepted I will take part in this trial in which she is accused in relation to Tender. (…) Yes, there was at DIICOT, so at Alina Bica, a case file in which deputy director Lascu from Medias (Laura Codruta Kovesi’s brother – editor’s note) was also involved. Nobody will recognise this but I gave you my opinion on the series of problems pressuring Bica: she was not obeisant in the relationship with other institution, she did not want to find solutions to whitewash Tender, she had the Lascu case file, and the conflict with Berbeceanu was found – which was categorically poorly handled by DIICOT Alba,” the ex-President stated on Romania TV.

 

Alina Bica on her meeting with Kovesi

 

“Yes, such a meeting took place. The invitation came against the backdrop in which the operation in Alba had started. Mr. Berbeceanu had been detained and, two weeks later, the DNA indicted the Chief Prosecutor of DIICOT Alba. The real reason was the fact that there was a situation of public tension, a lot of stories were circulating, I had intended to resign that summer. It had to do with a certain type of relation between me and Kovesi. It was a deficient relationship. Considering what happened to me, it would have been better had I resigned. That file, the Lascu case file, was not discussed. He blamed the conflict on the fact that Ms. Kovesi knew about that file. (…) I didn’t believe there was a link. The current President has done the same thing. I showed up, I presented my point of view. It was a tense meeting. We both expressed our points of view and said we will take the measures we think appropriate. It lasted 40 minutes. The Romanian President thought I was going to resign,” Alina Bica stated on Monday in an interview with Antena 3.

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