Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Director Eduard Hellvig pointed out on Wednesday that he went to Parliament with all openness to answer all the questions of the SRI Oversight Commission and that for him this invitation represents an “opportunity”.
“I came to Parliament with all openness to answer all the questions of the Commission. It’s an opportunity for me. I hope for a new beginning in the relationship between Parliament and SRI and I’m convinced that after this hearing we will have an answer to very many of the questions raised in the public space,” Hellvig stated before his hearing within the SRI Oversight Commission.
He pointed out that classified documents were also placed at the Commission’s disposal in order to clarify the aspects seen in the public debate.
The invitation before the new SRI Oversight Commission was extended to the SRI leadership last week, in order to discuss the institution’s budget for 2017 and the discharge of General Florian Coldea, former SRI First Deputy Director.
SRI Director on protests against the amending of criminal legislation: “SRI had no involvement”
SRI Director Eduard Hellvig also stated, answering a question from the press, that it is obvious that the Service was not involved in Sunday’s protests against the Grindeanu Government’s decision to amend the criminal legislation through two draft emergency ordinances.
Asked whether SRI had any involvement in the protests, Hellvig answered: “Obviously, it had no involvement. We will discuss this within the commission too. I’m absolutely convinced we will clarify all aspects seen in the public debate.”
“For me, as director of this important institution of the Romanian state, the relationship with Parliament is extremely important. I was parliamentarian, I understand Parliament’s role in democracy and I have all the availability and openness to have a relationship more than close, fair and honest with the Oversight Commission,” Hellvig added.
Hellvig made these statements before the new SRI Oversight Commission heard the SRI leadership.
Hellvig on the lowering of SRI’s budget: “I hope we won’t destroy our work capabilities”
Also before his hearing within the SRI Oversight Commission, Hellvig stated he hopes the Service would have a budget that would allow it not to destroy its capabilities, pointing out he will explain this to the decision makers.
Asked to comment on current discussions on the lowering of the institution’s budget, Hellvig pointed out: “I will give explanations on the SRI budget within the Commission too. I know there is a public perception, we are facing a reality we should not ignore.”
“We will explain to all decision makers why SRI needs a budget and, depending on our arguments, depending on the budgetary resource existing within the Romanian state, we will have a budget which, I hope, would first of all allow us to have the necessary infrastructure in order not to destroy our work capabilities and the extremely important partnership with the members of the ‘Bern Club,’” Hellvig added.
“We are witnessing division in Romanian society, unprecedented attacks on SRI”
These days there is a division in the Romanian society and unprecedented attacks take place against the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), SRI Director Eduard Hellving said on Wednesday, at the end of the hearings in the SRI activity oversight committee.
“We are witnessing these days a division in the Romanian society, unprecedented attacks on the institution I am heading,” Hellvig said.
He pointed out that he has taken over the messages “coming from the persons of good faith” and he will deal with them with all due seriousness.
The SRI director mentioned he has no data or evidence confirming what is circulated in the public area, however, if they exist, then they must be put at the investigators’ disposal.
“I noticed that there is the interest in destabilising a sturdy and serious institution of the Romanian state,” Hellvig said, who underlined that the SRI has the instruments to protect itself, but mostly to protect Romania’s citizens.
“A weak, faint-hearted, distabilised SRI, would mean a disarmed Romania in front of threats, and this does no good to the Romanian state institutions or Romanians,” the Service Director pointed out, also voicing the hope that these things will stop, for the sake of Romania.
“SRI doesn’t have and will not have covert officers in politics or justice, during my tenure the SRI will not get involved in any type of power game, during my tenure the SRI will not organise protests or other street movements, as it has been falsely stated in certain places,” Eduard Hellvig underscored.