The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) on Friday released on its website the protocol of cooperation with the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice regarding the institutions’ fulfilling their tasks regarding national security.
The document sealed on February 4, 2009 was signed by then First Deputy Prosecutor General Tiberiu Nitu and Florian Coldea, back then First Deputy SRI Director, and was approved by the heads of the two agencies – Laura Codruta Kovesi and George Maior, respectively.
The protocol linking the two agencies was concluded on the basis of the Constitution, of the Criminal Procedure Code, laws, emergency ordinances and government resolutions, as well as decisions of the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT), the freshly declassified document shows.
The protocol provides for the establishment of joint operational teams taking action according to action plans for the parties to exercise their specific competencies, with a view to documenting the facts set forth at Article 2, stipulating that: “The parties shall cooperate according to their competence and responsibilities provided by law, in their activity of capitalizing on intelligence regarding the prevention and combat of crimes against national security, acts of terrorism, crimes amounting to threats to national security and other serious crimes, according to the law.”
The document also states that “the SRI experts shall provide specialist technical assistance to the prosecutors who conduct criminal investigations” and that SRI shall provide specialist technical assistance to the prosecutors in the cases provided for at Article 2, where evidence handling requires specific knowledge or technical equipment, or in the cases where persons whose identity is protected are being wiretapped.
Article 3 lists the goals of the cooperation: “providing intelligence that is relevant and useful for the fulfillment of the specific responsibilities of the parties, as well as ensuring the protection thereof; the speedy carrying out of the steps provided for by the law for SRI’s requesting and obtaining the warrant authorizing intelligence gathering activities; ensuring the fulfillment of the responsibilities falling on the Prosecution Office for the enforcement of the authorization documents issued according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code; correlating activities for the identification, collecting, exploitation, preservation and analytical processing of intelligence related to the crimes referred to at Article 2.”
Article 3 also refers to:
* The setting up of joint operational teams acting on the basis of action plans whereby the parties each exercise their specific competencies with a view to documenting the facts provided for at Art. 2;
* SRI’s providing free of charge assistance for the protection of classified information held and used by the Prosecution Office, to prevent the leak of such data and intelligence, with the collection, transport and countrywide distribution of official correspondence;
* The development and implementation by the parties, in complementary areas, of joint strategies, actions and programs;
* The provision by Service experts, as per law, of expert technical assistance to the prosecutors who conduct criminal investigations, with a view to enforcing the provisions of Art. 91 (1) – 91 (5) and Art. 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code;
* The provision by the Service, under the terms of the law and of the present Protocol, of specialist technical assistance to prosecutors in the cases provided for at Art. 2, where the handling of evidence requires specific knowledge or technical equipment, or in cases where persons with a protected identity are being wiretapped;
* The setting in place of computerised mechanisms to ensure the operative transmission, in special situations, of the data and information necessary for the fulfillment of each party’s responsibilities;
* The participation in joint training, specialization and skills upgrading programs.
Protocol between intelligence service, PG Office provides for use of lawful interceptions
The cooperation protocol recently concluded between Romania’s Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Prosecutor General’s Office provides for the use of the lawful intercepts gathered under national security warrants, audio-video interceptions, as well as operative surveillance and intelligence investigations.
Thus, the document says that the request, extension and termination of the warrant provided for at Art. 20-22 in Law 535 / 2004 and issued pursuant to Art.3 in Law 51/1991 concerning the national security of Romania shall be done according to the legal provisions in force.
In instances where activities other than those authorised under a previous warrant are to be carried out, the SRI may propose, in writing and in a motivated manner, to the Attorney General to draw up the warrant in accordance with the needs imposed by the latest developments in the threats making up the legal basis for the warrant.
The protocol also says that, in order to capitalise on operational moments in special situations, the exchange of information may also regard other cases, after a verbal approval of the heads of the two organisations or their legal deputies has been given; the information so gathered shall be submitted for approval along with the necessary documents at the level of the two organisations, within 24 hours.
The Prosecutor General’s Office may request SRI to “perform technical checks into the identity of the owner of the phone suggested for lawful interception, the operational state of the line, as well as the technical conditions necessary for the enforcement of the authorisation, while SRI “shall check the specific records of the data obtained during the interceptions conducted under such authorisation.”
According to the protocol, SRI shall ensure the recording of communications or conversations resulting from interception on inventoried data storage media, to be made available by the prosecutor, as well as sending them to the Public Prosecution Service or local prosecutor’s offices.
In addition, SRI shall ensure the transcription of the communications or conversations deemed relevant, and subsequently, at the written request of the prosecutor, the SRI can ensure the transcript of other conversations, selected from the registered traffic.
Another chapter of the protocol refers to SRI’s cooperation with the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) in the areas of lawful interceptions.
Thus, Art. 39 says SRI shall provide technical support to ensure that the National Anticorruption Directorate – the central organisation – carries out its duties in regard to the enforcement of the authorisations issued under Art. 91 (1) – 91 (5) in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
A distinct chapter of the protocol mentions SRI audio-video interceptions.
At the written request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office or of the local prosecutor’s offices, SRI shall conduct audio/video technical operations, under the authorisation issued by the court or prosecutor at operational times in actual cases, but do so only through the liaison officers designated by SRI.
These activities shall be carried out by the specialist unit with the approval of the SRI director and only in the cases provided for in Article 2 of the protocol.
The audio/video actions shall be conducted by the specialist unit of SRI or the county intelligence directorates, as applicable, under the coordination of the case prosecutor, under a joint action plan drawn up by designated representatives of the two parties and approved by the head of the specialist unit of SRI or the heads of county intelligence directorates, as applicable.
Regarding SRI’s conduct of operative surveillance activities and intelligence investigations, these are carried out at the written request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office or of the local prosecutor’s offices, as applicable, in any of the complex cases mentioned at Art., and only after approval of the requests by the deputy director who coordinates such activity.
JusMin Toader, about declassification of SRI-PG Protocol: The truth must come out
Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on Friday stated that he appreciates the declassification of the Protocol existing between the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the General Prosecutor’s Office, specifying that “the truth must come out.”
“We appreciate the declassification of the Protocol between the SRI and the General Prosecutor’s Office – the truth must come out! We appreciate the continuation of the declassification process,” Tudorel Toader wrote on his Facebook page.