The report drafted by the commission that analysed the SIPA/DGPA archive in 2007, commission established by Minister Tudor Chiuariu, was published by ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ on Thursday. The report shows serious irregularities in the activity of similar commissions previously set up by then Justice Minister Monica Macovei, including the copying and destruction of some documents but also the taking out of documents from the archive, documents that were then handed over to Monica Macovei, without any guarantee that they were returned. The report, classified as “work-related secret,” points to the violation of minister’s orders and of some Government decisions when cataloguing the archive, pointing out that the SIPA documents should be unsealed for a verification to take place.
The commission for the verification of the SIPA archive was set up by Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu on 31 May 2007, almost two months since he took office. It worked from June to December 2007, filing its final report in early 2008, when Catalin Predoiu was already Justice Minister, following the disputes that President Traian Basescu and Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu had at the time over who was to replace Chiuariu. Back then, the Head of State blocked the appointment of Norica Nicolai, the case ending up at the Constitutional Court of Romania.
The commission was set up to verify the activity of two previous commissions that Monica Macovei had set up during her stint as Justice Minister (2004-2007).
The report of this third commission (the Chiuariu-Predoiu commission), published by ‘Evenimentul Zilei,’ noted that the two previous commissions failed to carry out or deficiently carried out the tasks outlined by Justice Minister Monica Macovei’s orders, and broke other regulations in force at the time. For instance, the Chiuariu-Predoiu report notes, the first commission should have handed over the SIPA archives and documents – with the CSAT’s approval – to the National Archives and other institutions from the defence, national security and public order system. Instead, the commission only catalogued the operational archive.
“The commission finalised the cataloguing only at the end of 2006, without also carrying out the obligation stipulated (to hand over the archive – with CSAT’s approval – to the National Archives and other institutions – editor’s note). The 30 June 2006 deadline for the completion of the process of cataloguing and handing over the archive was not observed and was no longer extended through a new legislative act either,” the final report shows.
In 2007, Monica Macovei set up a second commission, consisting of just two members (in contrast to the first, whose membership was far more numerous), namely judge Cristi Danilet and prosecutor Paul Dumitru. Macovei tasked this second commission with analysing and establishing “the destination for the documents belonging to the former DGPA, which are in the custody of the Justice Ministry and are stored at the central headquarters of the ANP [National Penitentiary Administration].” The commission had a 3-month deadline to file a report containing proposed destinations for the archive. The Chiuariu-Predoiu Report criticised the activity of this commission too.
“Appointed by the Justice Ministry to clarify the problems that appeared in the process of analysing the operative archive of the former DGPA, the members of the second commission did not carry through the directives of Justice Ministry Order no.1251/C/2007, did not draft any report containing proposals for the destination of the operative archive,” the report reads.
The commission considered that the low number of commission members – only two – made it impossible to respect the deadline, the archive being too large.
The third commission, set up by Tudor Chiuariu on 31 May 2007, visited the ANP 17 times, unsealed the space in which the DGPA/SIPA archive was stored and compared the facts on the ground with the situation described in the documents drafted by previous commissions. The commission pointed out that it did not find within the archive the records of the previous commission’s activity.
“The commission has noticed that, based on the directive of the decisional factors, the archive was formed in contradiction with legal provisions and without the CSAT’s approval. (…) The commission has noticed irregularities regarding the cataloguing, storing, processing, copying and destruction of state secret information,” the report reads.
Thus, the Chiuariu-Predoiu commission discovered that identical documents appear in different dossiers, in many cases the first and second specimens repeat or appear in different dossiers or volumes, as photocopies, the intelligence reports have a series of addresses, rulings or decisions appended to them, newspaper issues outlined in sharpie marker, a series of documents have no titles and their registration number is written in pencil. Also noted was the use of correction pens, renumbering, copies made on paper printed on one side, the fact that some reports bear the notes “photocopy made” – others are photocopies themselves – and the mention “the intelligence report is on disk no.” “The intelligence reports show the particularities of draft notes, they are corrected and underlined.”
Also outlined were material errors made regarding the cataloguing of archive units, which were found “in disorder.” The commission refers to the documents of the former commissions, not to the contents of the archive, pointing out that the archive should be unsealed for proper cataloguing to take place.
“This basically renders impossible establishing the destination for the documents created, which would entail unsealing the archive units and a new cataloguing. In fact, the archive’s storage conditions are improper for such an operation, the rooms in which the archive is stored offering extremely little free space,” the report reads.
The commission warns that “previous decisional factors” ordered the rewriting of DGPA hard-disks, however the Justice Ministry’s order on whose basis the operation took place was not identified and it was not established whether legal provisions were observed.
“A recent registry concerning the inventory of destruction operations was identified, with the relevant institutions set to establish whether the operations were carried out in line with the provisions of Art.76 of Government Decision no.585/2002” (which stipulates that classified information whose classification period has expired are archived or destroyed, and which establishes the rules of the destruction process).
The commission also points out that an unsealed box containing a hard-disk, diskettes and CDs was found.
The report shows that a small archive of documents belonging to the DGPA/SIPA was discovered at the Justice Ministry’s Classified Information Service, however the documents are improperly registered, also following the activity of a commission set up by Monica Macovei.
“The cataloguing commission mentioned under letter (d) (concerning the small archive – editor’s note) has identified classified documents in the intelligence reports of the former DGPA (intelligence reports on possible criminal activities committed by magistrates), these being registered without having the resolution of the Justice Ministry or of a secretary of state on the way these documents were sent to be verified by the relevant organs,” the report reads.
Such documents were taken out by the members of the first commission and handed over directly to Monica Macovei, the Chiuariu-Predoiu report accuses.
“The members of the commission appointed (by Monica Macovei in 2005 – editor’s note) took out documents from the operative archive of the Justice Ministry’s Classified Information Service, which they handed over to Justice Minister Monica Macovei. The current commission (author of the current report) could not identify and does not know whether the classified documents taken out by the members of the commission mentioned under letter (d) were returned by these commission members or by Justice Minister Monica Macovei, nor whether other measures were ordered by ex-Justice Minister Monica Macovei,” the report reads.
In the end, the Chiuariu-Predoiu commission made a series of proposals, such as the notification of relevant organs, in order for them to analyse and verify the irregularities uncovered by the commission.
“The same dossier includes documents that concern several categories of persons: from the judiciary – for example magistrates, auxiliary personnel etc. –, from the penitentiary system, but also other persons who held public offices in various fields, foreign citizens etc.,” the conclusions of the report read.
The commission proposed the notification of the SRI and of the Office for the Oversight of State Secrets, bearing in mind that the intelligence reports could not be sent to the other relevant institutions because of the nature of the documents they contain.
Back in 2008, the commission also demanded the setting up of a new commission, sufficiently large to be able to finalise the process of giving the archive a destination, with CSAT’s approval. The commission was not set up.
The members of the commission also demanded that the documents present within the Justice Ministry, namely that small archive from which documents were taken out, be identified and transferred to the secure space of the DGPA archive.
Former Justice Minister Monica Macovei, who decided to dissolve SIPA, claimed on Monday that all documents concerning the archive should be declassified, including the Predoiu-Chiuariu Report drafted in 2008, in order for an end to be put to “the discrediting” of the judiciary.
“I didn’t receive any information from the DGPA/SIPA archive, I didn’t receive any dossier from the DGPA/SIPA archive, I didn’t see any dossier from the DGPA/SIPA archive, I didn’t copy any dossier from the DGPA/SIPA archive, I didn’t take out any dossier from the DGPA/SIPA archive, I didn’t copy or destroy any hard-disk, I didn’t give anyone the order to take out, destroy or copy any dossier or hard-disk from the DGPA/SIPA archive,” the MEP added.
Catalin Predoiu, former Justice Minister during whose term the SIPA report was drafted: I sent it to CSAT and classified it; I didn’t know the contents of the archive
Ex-Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu (photo) stated for MEDIAFAX on Thursday that he acted correctly by sending the SIPA archive report to the CSAT and classifying it, stating he did not know the contents of the archive and acted legally by not taking any steps without knowing the CSAT’s position.
“I acted correctly by sending the document to the CSAT. I entered the ministry in the spring of 2008. The report published by the press describes the activities of the commission formed by minister Chiuariu. They drafted it after he left the ministry and they placed it on my table, before they left the ministry in their own turn. I noticed that National Security Law no.51/1991 says that: a) the Justice Ministry sets up its own intelligence structure (Art.9, paragraph 1); b) these structures carry out their activity in line with the national security law (Art.9, paragraph 2); c) national security activity is coordinated by the CSAT (Art.6, paragraph 2). Moreover, I noticed that Government Decision no.127/2006 says that the documents of the cataloguing commission are to be handed over to the National Archives, with CSAT’s approval (Art.2, paragraph 4). So, the CSAT is once again mentioned, in both regulations that formed the basis of the whole overture. The logical conclusion, which I believe in all good faith, is that the report had to go to the CSAT. Consequently, I sent it to the CSAT Secretariat,” ex-Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu pointed out for MEDIAFAX.
Catalin Predoiu stated he acted “correctly” by classifying the report.
“The (Chiuariu) Commission’s report had to be obligatorily classified, because it referred to classified information,” Predoiu pointed out.
The former Justice Minister said that, considering he had no way of knowing what the SIPA archive contained, he saw fit to act “legally and responsibly” by not taking any step without knowing the CSAT’s position and the position of the intelligence services that are members of the CSAT.
“I acted in good faith in both overtures. It wasn’t about getting rid of the problem, but about treating it responsibly, as a statesman. A responsible Justice Minister is not playing around with national security information or with information that may have an impact on national security. Since I had no way of knowing what this archive belonging to a former intelligence service contained, I considered it responsible, advisable and legal to act in line with what the national security law says, not to take any step in relation to the archive without knowing the position of the CSAT and of the intelligence services that are part of the CSAT, because they are the first responsible with national security,” Predoiu concluded.