After the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) published last Friday the second protocol that the institution had with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), signed in 2012, new public reactions are appearing, expressing outrage against such practices.
The document stipulates that the signatories will analyse bills concerning the object of their activity and draw up joint plans. “In complex cases, the actual cooperation is to be done based on joint plans approved by the leaderships of the two institutions, with the duties of each Side being spelled out,” the protocol reads.
However, it is not clearly mentioned what these joint plans mean, leaving room for any action. The document also shows that “if one of the Sides intends to use the information, in line with its own prerogatives, obtaining the consent of the Side that obtained the data and information is mandatory.”
But things did not stop there, because the 2012 agreement obligated the CSM to inform how it used the data.
The protocol was signed by then-CSM Vice President Oana Schmidt Haineala, and by former SRI First Deputy Director Florian Coldea, and was confirmed by the then-CSM President Alina Ghica and former SRI Director George Maior.
The former members of the Council state that nobody requested their agreement to conclude the protocol. Moreover, the document was not discussed within the Council’s committees or plenum.
Basescu: Such a protocol never reached CSAT. I could have had a vague suspicion some sort of protocols existed, but nobody told me that
Ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Sunday evening, on B1TV, that the recently revealed protocol concluded by the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) is “inadmissible,” and claimed that the protocol did not reach the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) while he was in office. Likewise, Basescu stated that he had “a vague suspicion” that secret protocols exist, but nobody told him that, adding that Romania is a state with “deformed” institutions.
“Back when there was talk about the protocols, I was publicly stating some technical issues. They are technical, but many of them are outside the law. It is not admissible for the CSM to respond, to say how it used the intelligence. Such a protocol never reached the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT). It didn’t, and nobody put on my table a protocol concluded with the Prosecutor General’s Office, with the CSM or with the High Court. Nor did anyone tell me that they exist. I could have had a vague suspicion that some sort of protocols existed, but nobody told me that,” Traian Basescu explained.
The ex-President states that Romania is a “deformed” state whose institutions have poorly understood democracy.
“It’s a state with deformed institutions, they must be brought back in line and the first formidable feeling I had that the state was deformed was the Rarinca case. Now we are entering the realities of this state, of an inter-institutional collaboration that has nothing to do with the rule of law. (…) It’s a state whose institutions have poorly understood democracy. (…) I never asked for the non-legal functioning of these institutions. My relationship with the CSM was far from sweet, because I often criticised attitudes, solutions,” he went on to say.
Asked whether he knew about the meetings that the heads of alphabet agencies had at SRI headquarters, he replied: “I was the President of Romania. Unfortunately, precisely those who should have informed me didn’t do so and were giving state institutions a direction different from the one stipulated by law.”
“SRI’s infiltration of state institutions, thought out in a circle with politicians”
The ex-President also stated for B1TV that the Romanian Intelligence Service’s infiltration of state institutions was a plan drawn up by a group of politicians, it was not the thinking of a single person, claiming that the protocols were levers of control.
“The CIA was discussing with Kovesi and Coldea, sometimes assisted by Ghita, they were discussing matters of national interest, in my opinion. There are 64 protocols. How many institutions submitted themselves to the SRI? Do you recall when judge Girbovan was nagging me with statements that the CSAT should reveal the undercover officers in the judicial system. Now I can tell you: What undercover officers when the whole judiciary was in a protocol with the SRI? This is not Coldea’s thinking. It’s much wider and at a generalised political approach level so that the SRI would infiltrate all state institutions. I believe it was thought out in a circle with politicians, who facilitated the SRI’s distribution. The first element: the bi-weekly meetings between Kovesi, Coldea, Ponta, Dragnea, attended from time to time by Dancu too. (…) If we reach the conclusion that someone placed the institutions under SRI control, this is where we are – an organised crime ring. We know the signatories, if jurists notice they are illegal in their content, we will turn to the judiciary,” ex-President Traian Basescu stated for B1TV.
The ex-President says that the protocols were used to send messages and to keep the institutions under control.
“CSM – message, if you don’t behave, look what could happen to you. At the CCR – Toni Grebla, who violated the embargo on Russia with ostrich eggs. We go further: High Court – the head of the Section for Contentious Matters, who was acquitted. All institutions got the message. CSM, watch out, we’re nicking you; High Court, we’ll nick you through the executive arm. Who was the brain behind the system? The Romanian President was warned: they nicked his brother. The message wasn’t meant for me, it was meant for the next President,” Basescu added.