Former High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) President Nicolae Popa, whose signature appears on the cooperation protocol concluded by the SRI, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PICCJ) and the High Court (ICCJ), a protocol made public on Monday, has stated for Antena3 that he will do everything in his power to find out how it is possible for his signature to be on the document concluded on 2 September 2009 since the day before that he had lodged with the CSM a retirement request and had left the ICCJ for good. He claims he never took part in any discussion on concluding such a protocol, that he does not know anything about this document, and that he did not sign it, pointing out that he has talked with ICCJ President Cristina Tarcea and will go and look at the document on Tuesday.
“I have seen this protocol only via the press. On 1 September 2009, the day I reached retirement age – 70 years of age –, I lodged the request to leave the ICCJ, and the document appears to be signed by me on 2 September 2009. Tomorrow I will meet the ICCJ President, whom I asked to prepare a copy for me to see. It will be the first time I see it. Had I signed it, I should have known, it would have meant I knew it, I discussed it. On 1 September 2009, I drove from the Court to the CSM and presented my retirement request. I still had one year of mandate left, but that’s what I decided to do, retire at 70 and vacate my office, and that’s what I did. From that moment on, I handed over my work phone, I picked up my personal documents, and, in my dossier, I proposed that Ms Vice President Lidia Barbulescu should take my place at the helm,” Nicolae Popa told Antena3 on Monday evening.
The former ICCJ President also claimed he never took part in such talks and did not sign such a protocol.
“Don’t imagine I came the day after my retirement to sign such a document. It’s absurd. On September 1st I told everyone goodbye, I went to the CSM with the retirement request and I left the court for good,” the former ICCJ President said.
He added that on Tuesday he will go to the ICCJ to talk with ICCJ President Cristina Tarcea and will ask her for an internal verification.
“I promised Ms Tarcea that tomorrow I will go look at this protocol (…) to see whether we would also manage to carry out an internal verification, to establish how it was possible. (…) I have sufficient experience not to fall for such a trap. (…) I will do everything in my power to see how we reached this situation,” Nicolae Popa added.
FACIAS notifies Prosecutor General’s Office of forgery and use of forgery in SRI-PICCJ-ICCJ Protocol
FACIAS has notified the Prosecutor General’s Office about the recently declassified protocol concluded between the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) and the High Court of Justice (ICCJ), and has demanded a probe into the suspicions of forgery and use of forgery surrounding the document, after the former Supreme Court President said he did not sign it even though his signature appears alongside the signatures of George Maior and Laura Codruta Kovesi on the document published on the SRI website on Monday.
“The Foundation for the Defence of Citizens against State Abuses (FACIAS) is notifying the Prosecutor General’s Office and is demanding the start of an investigation in the case of the forgery and use of forgery suspicions from the protocol between the SRI, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the ICCJ. FACIAS is asking the authorities to verify the information that appeared in the public space, according to which professor Nicolae Popa, former Supreme Court President, did not sign the protocol, did not take part in its negotiation with the other contracting institutions (the SRI and the PICCJ) and did not give his consent to its conclusion. The situation is grave even more so considering that Ms Lidia Barbulescu, who was acting ICCJ President after the retirement of professor Nicolae Popa, has stated that she was unaware of this protocol. (…) The prosecutor’s office must investigate the forgery and use of forgery suspicions and discover who forged this official document which, in the absence of other mentions, is still in force and generates juridical effects,” the FACIAS representatives point out in a press release.
The overture comes after former ICCJ President Nicolae Popa stated on Monday that he did not sign the protocol between the SRI, PICCJ and High Court, having retired prior to the signing of the document. Cristina Tarcea confirmed for MEDIAFAX that she invited Popa to clarify the situation.
“I didn’t sign such a protocol. In fact, please look, it is signed on 2 September 2009, at a time when I had already left the Court. I talked with President Cristina Tarcea earlier and I asked her to save it for me too, for me to look and see what it is about. I didn’t negotiate such a thing with anyone while I was at the Court, certainly not. On 1 September 2009, when I turned 70, I left the High Court. All retirement forms were already lodged with the CSM. As one can see, the protocol is signed on 2 September 2009. I didn’t go back to sign such a thing! I never returned to the Court after I left. It’s very curious and I hope I will clarify this situation. I don’t know what kind of cooperation those from the prosecutor’s offices had, but a judge definitely has no place being part of such an equation. I will actually go to the High Court and consult the document too, and the registers. For me this situation is less explainable. Based on what I saw on television, it is my signature, but I don’t want to speculate for now, nor debate manoeuvres of a different nature,” Nicolae Popa stated for ‘Q Magazine.’
Tariceanu: Secret protocols are proof of grave distortion, excesses, and abuses
The Alliance of Liberals’ and Democrats’ (ALDE) President Calin Popescu Tariceanu considers that the secret protocols, which keep surfacing, are proof of the grave distortion, excesses and abuses that have occurred in Romania, the MEDIAFAX correspondent informs.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Tuesday, at a press conference in Cluj-Napoca, that the judges were receiving intelligence and were having to exchange intelligence with the secret services, everything being “an ugly masquerade” in which innocent people fell.
“I have seen the extremely wise statement made by Ms Stanciu, President of the ICCJ, who stated with great pomposity that she is the prosecutors’ trusted partner. This is, unfortunately, the rule of law built in recent years. We must return to normality, to the situation in which we would assure the full independence of judges, we would remove the pressures under which they functioned. And the secret protocols, which keep coming to the surface as I see, are proof of this grave distortion and of these grave excesses and abuses that have occurred in Romania. We were talking about the independence of the judiciary, but it was good for public discourse, in reality we were seeing how the independence of the judiciary works. The judges were receiving intelligence, they were having to exchange intelligence with the secret services, it was all an ugly masquerade in which we do not know how many innocent people have fallen [victim] to this so-called fight against corruption which has turned into a ruthless fight for political power, economic power, which is unacceptable,” Tariceanu said.
According to him, a normal, democratic state must be based on the citizens’ confidence in institutions.
“We are the country with the lowest citizens’ confidence in the judiciary. This collapse of confidence is due precisely to these abuses that are permanently coming to the surface,” the ALDE leader added.
Tariceanu also said that the ‘lawbreakers’ was a move through which the deep state sought to eliminate disagreeable persons from politics, economy and the world of academia.
“During Ceausescu’s time the desire was to create the new man; the new man was desired here too, to be more easily controlled,” the ALDE leader said.