INTELLIGENCE JUSTICE POLITICS

GHITA-GATE scandal: SRI Deputy Director Florian Coldea suspended from office until aspects concerning his possible infringement of laws and professional deontology are clarified

On Thursday evening, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) had an official reaction to the series of accusations levied by Sebastian Ghita in video recordings recently broadcast. General Florian Coldea (photo) will be suspended from the office of SRI Deputy Director until aspects concerning his possible infringement of laws and professional deontology are clarified.

“As a result of the public information concerning Lieutenant General Florian Coldea, information subjected to preliminary verifications, SRI Director Eduard Hellvig has ordered, in line with procedures, the setting up of a special commission of inquiry into possible infringements of the law or of professional deontology. In this sense, until the verifications are finalised, Lieutenant General Florian Coldea is suspended, in line with legal provisions, and the prerogatives of the office of SRI Deputy Director will be taken over by SRI Director Eduard Hellvig. All circumstances presented publicly as well as the documents put at disposal by Lieutenant General Florian Coldea are being analysed.

“We point out that SRI has developed internal mechanisms of verification of any clues concerning the breaking of the law or of the internal normative framework, based on methodologies and procedures validated in time. Specialised internal structures subordinated to the director of the institution carry out, every time the situation calls for it, complex measures to verify information about the possible breaking of the law or of military orders and regulations and subsequently adopt the proper measures.

“Our institution deems extremely important the principle of legality which governs the Service’s entire activity, as a guarantee of the observance of human rights and of the reputation of the institution’s personnel. We reaffirm our determination to maintain the standards of professionalism on which the alliances SRI is a part of – alongside partner services from states with consolidated democracies – are based.

“We reiterate that the Romanian Intelligence Service carries out its missions in good faith, in the interest of national security and of Romanian citizens,” SRI points out.

 

Sebastian Ghita presents new incontestable evidence of close friendship with SRI General Coldea. Former lawmaker presents evidence he spent several vacations abroad with Coldea and his family and says Coldea wanted to avoid Traian Basescu knowing about their friendship

 

Former Lower Chamber lawmaker Sebastian Ghita revealed on Wednesday evening, in a new recording broadcast by Romania TV private broadcaster, that he had a close friendship with Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) General Florian Coldea. At the same time, Ghita pointed out that President Klaus Iohannis is the “prisoner” of the Coldea-Kovesi “duo,” being under the threat of criminal case files on both his and his wife’s name.

Sebastian Ghita presented new revelations about General Florian Coldea, Deputy Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), and about the friendship he had with him. The former lawmaker pointed out he and his family spent several vacations abroad with Coldea and his family and that Coldea wanted to avoid Traian Basescu knowing about their friendship. The businessman pointed out that President Klaus Iohannis is the “prisoner” of the Coldea-Kovesi “duo.”

 

 The transcript of Sebastian Ghita’s new recording

 

“You may be wondering why I revealed all this and why I had the courage to say what I believe broke down in Romania in recent years and who are the culprits in my opinion. I did it because things are already speeding toward a kind of terror nobody will be able to resist anymore.

“In my last recording, I presented several data on [my] relations with Coldea and Kovesi. I will focus on the ties with Florian Coldea. In early February 2010, we went to Seychelles with our families, just us. It was before the PSD party conference and we decided to go on holiday on an exotic island. We stayed together and it can be easily verified. We stayed at Hilton Seychelles SPA. By chance, I found the hotel flyer home. We stayed 10 days and I remember I was asking him to help Ponta win the PSD elections, however Coldea was telling me Basescu didn’t want Ponta. Diaconescu, Geoana, anyone but Ponta was the message.

“EVZ’s Dan Andronic can confirm we crossed paths on our way back, at the airport in Istanbul. When boarding the plane, he talked with me and Coldea. Florian Coldea got scared of Andronic and although he had a business class ticket he went to coach. He was afraid Basescu would find out who he went on vacation with,” Sebastian Ghita pointed out on Romania TV.

Sebastian Ghita presented a picture from one of the vacations he spent with Florian Coldea.

“I’ll give you just one more example of such a vacation, a picture showing our families in Disney Land Paris; Ms. Dorina Coldea, Mr. Coldea’s wife, also appears in the picture.

“It wasn’t the only vacation with Coldea. In October 2012, Vasile Dincu, my brother-in-law Cristi Anastasescu and I went to a villa in Tuscany.”

Sebastian Ghita did not reveal the cost of that trip, but an accommodation at the Locanda dell’Amorosa villa can be booked for a little over EUR 400 per room per night in October 2017.

“I’m doing all this because it gives credence to my statements.

“I wanted to prove that everything I said during this period and during the elections campaign is one hundred percent true. At first I believed in them and I thought they want to do good to Romania and they want to help people and they want Romanian companies to prosper, they want to tap European grants, they want us to build expressways, they want us to work better and to prosper better in our country.

“I too did what I could to help them and to be by these people’s side. Still, at one point, around three years ago, if I’m not mistaken, I told Mr. Coldea that has been leading Romania for many years and I no longer see things being as good as I saw them at first. I told him Romanian capital is being systematically destroyed, the poverty rate is up, hospitals and schools are in a state of dereliction that is far more serious than we believe, that we don’t have an expressway from Pitesti to Sibiu, nor one from Comarnic to Brasov.

 

“Iohannis is Coldea and Kovesi’s prisoner. He is afraid of the case files they could open for Ms. Carmen Iohannis”

 

“That we managed to drive out from the country three million Romanians during these years and we handed over the economy to multinational companies. I told him that people, Romanians will gradually consider and call Coldea and Kovesi guilty for the disaster of the last 10 years. The result of the 10 years of fear and terror was bringing Iohannis to power, along with Ciolos’s technocrats from Brussels. Iohannis is Coldea and Kovesi’s prisoner, I’ve presented these things in the Romanian Parliament. He is afraid of the kind of case files they could open against Ms. Carmen Iohannis and he is also afraid of what will happen to him after this term. The criminal cases threat is hanging even above the Romanian Presidency. For 10 years now, Florian Coldea and Codruta Kovesi have been in charge. Of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the DNA in Ms. Kovesi’s case, of SRI in Mr. Coldea’s case. They mutually support each other and annihilate any threat against them. Today, these days, they are defying the Romanians’ vote.

“This is impossible to accept in a democracy. For them to get involved in the political game, to threaten the president of a political party, to block the president of a party that won the elections from being appointed Prime Minister, to exercise media terrorism through undercover agents, to tolerate the influence of Soros’s NGOs in Romania and in Romanian politics, these things are unacceptable. Romanians have voted and I want to say something to my former good friends Coldea and Kovesi – Romanians have voted against you.

 

“The vote cast a few weeks ago is already an anti-Coldea and anti-Kovesi vote

 

“This is my opinion and, I believe, the opinion of many. Iohannis and PNL believe they are to blame, I’m telling them they are not. The vote cast a few weeks ago is already an anti-Coldea and anti-Kovesi vote. After 10 years in which politicians vacated ruling offices but Colea and Kovesi stayed put, with their false dossiers, with their lying denunciators, with their arrangements, with cowardly judges, this is what is going on today in Romania and Romanians have voted. They no longer want this. Just like many people, I too believe it’s time for you to stop.

“With this, through these episodes, I wanted to let them – Florian Coldea and Kovesi – know that I won’t give up, I will tell the truth and I will never hesitate telling people why I believed in them at first, what made me doubt them later and why I ended up fighting them today. And these revelations you have seen are only the beginning. I will continue with more strength,” Sebastian Ghita said at the end of a new recording broadcast by Romania TV on Wednesday evening.

 

Dan Andronic: I confirm I met Coldea at the airport

 

“In what concerns Sebastian Ghita’s statements, I want to point out the following: I confirm the fact that, sometime after the 2009 elections, I met SRI First Deputy Director Florian Coldea at the check-in of the airport in Istanbul.

“I had spent a few days with my wife and some friends in Istanbul. I don’t know where he was coming from. I can’t give more details on other persons, because at that moment I did not know Sebastian Ghita.

“I could ask those friends I was with in Istanbul, it’s just that, in my opinion, the easiest verification can be done by checking the passenger list and seeing whether the names of Sebastian Ghita, Florian Coldea and their wives are there. I repeat, I met General Florian Coldea – whom I had met before in 2009, when I worked with Traian Basescu in the elections campaign – at the airport in Istanbul, on an Istanbul-Bucharest flight. I don’t recall whether it was a Turkish Airlines or Tarom flight. I don’t know where General Coldea was coming from, he didn’t tell me, and we had a two- or three-minute conversation,” Dan Andronic said.

“Looking through my emails, I found the air tickets and I can tell you it was a Tarom flight, February 2010. I don’t want to give more details because I understand the implications of such a statement, more so since we are talking about a Prosecutor General’s Office investigation or an internal SRI investigation,” journalist Dan Andronic told ‘EVZ’ daily.

In a previous recording, former lawmaker Sebastian Ghita revealed that SRI General Florian Coldea threatened ex-Premier Victor Ponta in case he finalised the Comarnic-Brasov expressway project.

 

SRI’s reaction on Wednesday evening: No comment for now, assessment being carried out

 

The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) had had no reaction to Sebastian Ghita’s recordings until recording no.7 was broadcast on Wednesday evening, a recording that contained revelations on politicians, SRI agents and DNA prosecutors. After Ghita presented pictures showing him and his family on vacation alongside SRI Deputy Director Florian Coldea and his wife, the Service reacted for the first time, through its spokesperson.

“We won’t comment for the time being. If SRI has a point of view, it will make it public. For the time being, an assessment is being conducted,” Ovidiu Marincea stated for evz.ro.

 

 

Ex-Premier Victor Ponta: Ghita has so far said only 2 pc of what he knows

 

 

Ex-Premier Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook on January 10 that Ghita has so far said only 2 percent of what he knows. “People are asking me what I think about Sebastian Ghita’s revelations (he has so far said only 2 percent of what he knows)!” Ponta wrote. The day before, he shared the message of Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, who had expressed his concern about the events in Romania.

 

 

MEP Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament: “We are following with great concern the events in Romania”

 

 

The day before, MEP Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, expressed his concern – also on Facebook – about the “interference of intelligence services and political actors in the work of the judiciary.”

“A strong and independent judiciary system, fair to all European citizens, is one of the pillars of the European project. We are following with great concern the events in Romania, where the interference of intelligence services and political actors in the work of the judiciary can only undermine the credibility of justice.

“The fight against corruption must not have a political bias, and the direction should not be determined according to different interests. Corruption must be eradicated wherever it lies, based on democratic and accurate trials, respecting the rights of those under investigation,” Moraes wrote.

 

 

Chris Terhes, President of the Romanian Community Coalition: “The Services are the main cause of corruption in Romania”

 

Chris Terhes, President of the Romanian Community Coalition in the US, known in our country also as the “Romanian Coalition for Combating Corruption,” posted on Facebook a harsh message concerning the scandal of the day, a scandal in which Sebastian Ghita is a protagonist.

“Ghita has presented evidence of how he was going on luxury vacations with Coldea (and Dincu). During the period for which he presented proof – 2010, 2012 and 2015 –, Ghita was a LAWBREAKER, to use the label used by the New Securitate’s propagandists. Namely, Ghita was defendant in a case that the Prosecutor General’s Office had opened in 2000 for embezzlement (the state was defrauded) and misrepresentation. Using several companies, Ghita allegedly sold oil products from the refinery to other companies, without paying taxes.

“The case was opened in 2000, was sent to court in 2002, and in 2014, while it was still on the roll of the Bucharest Court of Appeals (CAB), the statute of limitations expired. In March 2016, the CAB decided to stop the lawsuit because the statute of limitations expired.

“Communism fell 28 years ago, and Ghita’s case was on trial for half that period – 14 years – and it was on trial until the statute of limitations expired.

“Coldea has been at the helm of SRI since 2005 (11 years). Kovesi was at the helm of the Prosecutor General’s Office from October 2006 to October 2012, and has been at DNA’s helm since 2013. During this time, both Coldea and Kovesi had no problem going on vacation with “lawbreaker” Ghita.

“In parallel, however, the propaganda bodies were explaining, to us and to Westerners, how the New Securitate is fighting corruption. And how the services must be strengthened to fight corruption even harder.

“Meanwhile, however, not only was Ghita not labelled a “lawbreaker,” but all his businesses proliferated following public contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros. The main cause of corruption in Romania and of the country’s stagnation are the services, which kept the whole state captive, not allowing anything to organically develop in society. We are awake. The autists from the embassies, not yet.

“P.S. I hope Ghita will say as much as possible,” Chris Terhes wrote on his Facebook page.

 

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