Claudiu Manda, chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence Oversight Committee, announced on Tuesday the schedule based on which the Senate Speaker, ex-President Traian Basescu and the former directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) will be heard. Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu will be heard first.
According to Claudiu Manda, the hearings will take place on:
- February 20 – Calin Popescu Tariceanu
- February 27 – George Maior
- March 6 – Florian Coldea
- March 13 – Traian Basescu
“Mr Calin Popescu Tariceanu will be invited before the committee next week, on Tuesday, February 20. He confirmed his presence. On February 27, also a Tuesday, we will invite Mr George Maior before the committee. A week later, namely on March 6, Florian Coldea should come before the committee. And the week after that, we will ask President Traian Basescu to come before the committee when his schedule permits and provided we can hold a meeting – we would like that to be on a Tuesday, we’ll see whether Mr Traian Basescu can make it on March 13. After that we would establish when to invite the other persons made public mention of,” Claudiu Manda stated on Tuesday.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu confirmed last Saturday that he will go before the Intelligence Oversight Committee, after he was invited by its chairman. Tariceanu has publicly claimed, on several occasions, the existence of a deep state, a system that pulls the strings from the shadows and is trying to take over all state institutions.
Former SRI Director and current Ambassador to the U.S. George Maior is expected before the Intelligence Oversight Committee on February 27. Last Friday he talked for more than one hour with committee chairman Claudiu Manda. The talks took place far from the journalists’ scrutiny, the latter not being allowed to enter the Palace of Parliament during that time. George Maior’s name has been repeatedly mentioned by those heard by the Intelligence Oversight Committee, in the sense that he was aware of the Intelligence Service’s involvement in all state structures.
Florian Coldea, former SRI Deputy Director, is scheduled to go before the Committee on March 6, after several persons accused him of coordinating a veritable operation to take over state institutions and of being aware of SRI’s involvement in the judicial system.
Ex-President Traian Basescu will be heard on March 13. Last year, Claudiu Manda announced several times the ex-president was going to be invited before the committee.
The series of hearings started after former SRI colonel Daniel Dragomir revealed before the committee the way the Romanian Intelligence Service acted. He talked about the press and judiciary “gauntlets,” namely practices that the SRI allegedly used to influence criminal dossiers while relying on certain support in the media.
At that time, Dragomir also presented a list of 65 names – including the names of 11 journalists, 15 politicians, 12 members of the judicial system – who could confirm his statements.
“We are interested in having a dialogue with Sebastian Ghita, we have the technical and legal conditions”
The Intelligence Oversight Committee is interested in a dialogue with Sebastian Ghita, having the technical and legal conditions to engage in such a dialogue, Committee Chairman and PSD Senator Claudiu Manda stated on Tuesday.
“As I said before, we’re interested in having this dialogue with Sebastian Ghita. We have the technical and legal conditions, which did not exist back when we understood from the public space his intention to have a discussion with the committee,” Manda said when asked about hearing Ghita, considering that the latter has recently intervened by phone in live talk-shows.
“I’ve seen his interventions in the press. To the extent he wants this hearing to take place, of course we must do the technical things and hold a hearing. We depend a lot on him. We haven’t officially sent him a written address, we somehow went through the steps in the public space. If he wants to, of course he can contact us, because I don’t know how we could contact him. I believe there is a phone number,” Manda added.
He pointed out the hearing can technically take place via videoconference at any time.
“We all know that Mr Ghita has intervened in court via videoconference, so technically there is this solution. The only thing that must take place is for that moment and his desire and the committee’s schedule to exist, so we could talk. Considering he has entered the public space in the past two days, I believe – or hope – that he would still be just as interested and willing to have a discussion with the committee and for us to clarify various aspects he started to talk about at one point. And I’m sure he still has things to say,” Manda added.
Intel Oversight Cttee takes note following Vlad Cosma’s recordings: We want to know if Dragos is a SRI employee
Intelligence Oversight Committee Chairman Claudiu Manda stated on Tuesday that he will send an address to the Service, asking for details on “Dragos,” the person who appears in the recordings that Vlad Cosma made public, and whether he is a SRI employee. At the same time, the committee wants to know the relationship between the SRI and DNA Ploiesti.
“Regarding the scandal or the things that have appeared in the public space in the last two days, the Committee took note and we decided to send a request or ask the SRI whether Mr Dragos – whom prosecutor Portocala mentioned – is a SRI employee and, if he is, what was the nature of the relations between the SRI and DNA Ploiesti. We took note because we saw such a mention being made, including in the public space, namely that Dragos was allegedly a SRI officer, and we want to know if it’s true and what was the nature of these collaborations,” Intelligence Oversight Committee Chairman Claudiu Manda stated.
On Sunday evening, Antena3 broadcast a recording featuring Vlad Cosma, who claimed that DNA Ploiesti prosecutors Mircea Negulescu and Lucian Onea allegedly attempted to open dossiers based on “fabricated evidence” against politicians and businessmen, Sebastian Ghita being among them. The former House lawmaker also revealed that DNA Ploiesti Chief Lucian Onea allegedly asked him to modify certain documents and pieces of evidence that were then allegedly used in the dossier.
At one point in the recording, Mircea Negulescu talks to a certain Dragos, in order to see whether a certain phone number is active and whether its owner is in the country. It has been publicly alleged that the said Dragos is a former chief from SRI Prahova.