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July 1, 2022

Senate Speaker Tariceanu: My presence before SRI Committee, proof we all have to behave the same way

Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on Tuesday that his presence for a testimony before Parliament’s Committee on the Oversight of Romania’s Intelligence Service (SRI) is “a duty” and “proof” that everyone summoned before the committee should behave in the same way, by respecting the law and state institutions.

“I was invited to be heard by the SRI Committee and I think that no one is above the law. It is the duty of any citizen to show up before the committee regardless of the position they hold in the state. That is a direct take on the behaviour of other people in the Romanian state who have refused to appear before parliamentary committees, whatever they are. It is an obligation we cannot eschew, it is a responsibility, and if the head of the DNA [National Anti-Corruption Directorate] believes she is above the law reveals an attitude and behaviour that I cannot tolerate. My presence today before the committee is proof that we all have to behave in the same way and respect the law and the state institutions,” said Tariceanu after being heard by the SRI Committee.

He explained that he had come to the committee in all openness because “the information that emerged in the public space is worrying and needs to be checked.”

“We do not understand the attitude of the President of Romania who refuses to accept these realities. We have the right and there is the benefit of doubt, but as the president he should have been at least under an obligation to express certain reservations and not to give unlimited credit to the institution called the DNA and its head, given that very serious things have already happened at DNA, which is why prosecutor Negulescu has already been excluded from the magistracy. I believe that it is our duty as responsible politicians and decision makers to listen to the messages we receive from the society raised by the mass media about abuses and excesses, to analyse them and, if we find some failures, to correct them. This is the spirit in which I came before the committee and how I approached at least the answers in this perspective,” said Tariceanu.

He added that he presented to the committee issues related to the functioning of state bodies.

“I was able to bring to the attention of the committee a series of issues that reflect the situation Romania has been facing with the proper functioning of its state bodies, the bodies of force, with the worries and the information in the public space linked to serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. Of course we are no strangers to the concerns I have expressed more than once over the famous SRI-DNA binominal, and that was one of the topics that the committee also addressed today (…) I believe there was a time when these serious slippages occurred; the secret protocols concluded by the SRI with the DNA, the extension of the tactical field to the court, the provision of legal assistance to prosecutors, dictating the resolutions perhaps for judges are all things that are unacceptable in terms of the operation of an intelligence system in a democratic country that respects the citizens while placing their rights and freedoms above all,” added Tariceanu.

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