Rise Project announced on Saturday evening, through a Facebook post entitled ##Teleormanleaks, that a suitcase with key information from inside the Tel Drum corporation, to which the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) had no access during searches, was found in the rural area of the Teleorman County. The suitcase allegedly contains thousands of documents, phone numbers, e-mails, photos and videos from the company’s events.
“We inform you that «Teleorman Leaks» exists. A suitcase with key information from inside the Tel Drum corporation, to which the DNA prosecutors had no access when they made searches on the company’s premises and computers, last year, was found in the rural area of the Teleorman County, by a local, right on his property. The local contacted a Rise Project source in the county” is the message posted by Rise Project on Sunday evening on their Facebook page, entitled #Teleormanleaks.
According to the Facebook message, the suitcase allegedly contains “a black hard disk in which all the 63.39 GB content from a key person from Tel Drum was saved”, as well as thousands of invoices, contracts, balance sheets, estimates, proxies, articles of incorporation of ghost companies, statements of account, payment orders.
Moreover, the suitcase seems to contain “personal documents of intermediaries”, audit reports, accounting tables, 14,800 photos and videos from the company’s events, documents, selfies, screenshots with talks – most of them from the backup of several phone devices.
Also, according to Rise Project, the suitcase contains 54,710 e-mails and attachments from the office e-mail address, as well as an agenda with almost one thousand phone numbers.
“The agenda contains 980 phone numbers collected in the recent years: «Basescu», «Hrebe», «Dancila», «Banicioiu», «Pieleanu». One of them is different, being written with a pause between capital letters: «L I V I U»”, reads the message posted by Rise Project.
Besides, there are copies in the suitcase of some personal documents of the Dragnea family; Rise Project published a copy of the Baccalaureate Diploma belonging to Dragnea N.L. Valentin Stefan.
In November 2017, Liviu Dragnea was indicted in the Tel Drum case, for forming an organized criminal group, for using or presenting in bad faith false, inaccurate or uncomplete documents or statements, as well as for abuse of office and obtaining undue benefits for himself or for another person.
According to prosecutors, Liviu Dragnea, in his capacity of the Chairman of the Teleorman County Council, formed an organized criminal group which is acting even today, which consisted and still consists of public servants working in the institutions of the public administration, as well as people in the business sector.
The group was initiated in 2001 and its goal was to fraudulently obtain important amounts of money from the contracts funded from public funds, by committing offenses of abuse of office, by defrauding EU funds, by tax evasion, money laundering and using information not intended to be published or by granting access to such information to unauthorized people, the DNA prosecutors claim.
The damage caused by abuse of office in this case amounts RON 30 million, and the damage caused by defrauding the EU funds amounts RON 20 million.
DNA also announced that the assets of the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea were subject to a precautionary seizure and a garnishment, up to the amount of more than RON 127.5 million, in the Tel Drum case.
Thus, the DNA prosecutors ordered the precautionary seizure and garnishment up to the amount of RON 127,547,366.34 on all of the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea’s movable and immovable assets, stocks and shares he holds in the capital of the private legal persons, on his amounts of money in the bank accounts, as well as on the amount of money owed to him with any title by third parties, including the amounts of money owed as rent.
Liviu Dragnea challenged this measure also at the end of the last year, but the court rejected his request.
The lawyer of the PSD leader, Maria Vasii, claimed that no institution requested to be introduced as a civil party in this case, and therefore, since no one claimed any damage, the prosecutor wasn’t entitled to order precautionary measures.
“We challenged the ordinance by which the precautionary measures were established, since it was issued by the prosecutor by not observing some essential forms required b the law. For instance, the precautionary measure was justified by Mrs. Prosecutor by the need to seize the necessary assets for covering the damages, the prejudice. No one asked to be introduced in the case as civil party, therefore no one claimed any damage until today. The prosecutor is not entitled to establish the seizure ex officio, in the absence of a civil party that claims these damages”, Lawyer Maria Vasii stated.
Furthermore, she said that the seizure was established “by ear”, since the PSD Chairman’s assets weren’t evaluated.
On January 17, 2018, DNA announced it ordered precautionary measures on all the Tel Drum’s movable and immovable assets, as well as the garnishment on the existing amounts of money or those to be paid by third parties, with ay title, in the bank accounts held by the company, up to the amount of RON 32,118,589.51 (representing the undue benefits and the tax liabilities that should have been paid to the state). On the same date, DNA announced the extension of the criminal prosecution on the company, which is investigated for forming an organized criminal group, for tax evasion in continuous form and for complicity in abuse of office.
Reactions to TeleormanLeaks
Dragnea, about the suitcase with documents about which Rise Project wrote: It’s a donut, it has nothing to do with me, I ‘m not interested in it
On Monday, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea came with two suitcases at the PSD Executive Committee (CEx) meeting – saying that one of them was containing “donuts from Rise Project” (e.n. – donut = lie), and the other one was containing “files” about the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDRG) and Klaus Iohannis. Asked by the journalists, Dragnea said that the suitcase about which Rise Project wrote is “a donut”, it has nothing to do with him and “it’s a stupid thing, a desperate thing, probably also to cover the scandal around the two gentlemen whose name is Lazar”.
“It’s a donut, it has nothing to do with me, I’m not interested. I have no idea what’s in that suitcase, who provided it”, Dragnea said about the things revealed by Rise Project, after he spoke about the two suitcases he brought.
“The first suitcase contains donuts from Rise Project. They are fresh, right here. The second suitcase, you know I’m from Teleorman, and as any local from Teleorman, I found in the bottom of my courtyard a suitcase with documents that weren’t provided to DNA. Let’s see what it’s all about: the file regarding the fraudulent acquisition of the Raiffeisen building. The file related to the restitutions of the assets of the Democratic Forum of Germans, to the German ethnic group. The file regarding the promotion of the prosecutors who closed his (Iohannis’ – e.n.) cases. The file containing false statements on the money received as rent. Cash. The file related to dismantling the nursing home from the Democratic Forum of Germans. The file containing pressing things on a CCR judge. Oops, we have some memory sticks, too. I give you these two suitcases”, the PSD leader said.
Also asked about the documents related to Tel Drum, Liviu Dragnea replied to the journalists: “Aren’t you interested in the bad things made by certain prosecutors with the Romanian President?”.
“It’s a stupid thing, a desperate thing, probably also to cover the scandal around the two gentlemen whose name is Lazar. Only that this scandal cannot be buried”, the PSD leader claimed.
The dossiers that Liviu Dragnea brought in suitcases to the PSD’s ExCom meeting on Monday contain several documents, including the ordinance to dismiss a case concerning Klaus Iohannis, signed by prosecutor Cristian Lazar, as well as reports on the dismissed criminal cases in which the President was involved.
Dossier no.03 – Promotion of prosecutors who dismissed his cases – contains President Klaus Iohannis’s decrees appointing in office prosecutors Augustin and Cristian Lazar.
Document no.1: Presidential decree no.989/15 December 2015, appointing prosecutor Aurel Cristian Lazar – who dismissed criminal dossier no.664/P/2013 which concerned President Klaus Iohannis – as deputy chief prosecutor of the Criminal Prosecution and Criminology Section of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ).
One of the dossiers also contains the ordinance to dismiss the case concerning Klaus Iohannis, signed by prosecutor Cristian Lazar, an ordinance that, according to the document, is allegedly closely connected with the decision to appoint him in office.
“Thus, President Iohannis used his public office to obtain an undue benefit, consisting of the dismissal of the criminal case in which he was being probed,” reads one of the documents.
Another document concerns the presidential decree issued on 28 April 2016, appointing Augustin Lazar – “who accepted the dismissal of 9 criminal cases at the PICCJ, concerning President Klaus Iohannis” – as Prosecutor General.
The dossiers that Dragnea brought in suitcases also include an Alba Iulia Court of Appeals report pointing out that nine cases concerning Klaus Iohannis were dismissed.
“Augustin Lazar could have invalidated the dismissal solutions. He did not do so in any of the 9 dossiers, which justifies President Klaus Iohannis’s non-material interest in using his office to promote Augustin Lazar as Prosecutor General,” one of the documents reads.
Dossier no.06 – Pressuring of a Constitutional Court judge – contains the statement made by CCR Judge Petre Lazaroiu, the one allegedly pressured.
“Yesterday, June 14, at 2.30 – 3 p.m., I had a meeting with Ms Simina Tanasescu, presidential aide on legal issues, at her request, not mine. Among other things, she told me she has a disagreeable mission and, when I arrived in her office, she showed me a piece of paper that had circulated a while before, a request from the VeDem Just Foundation, asking CCR President Valer Dorneanu no less than to put my mandate up for discussion. I told her it’s an aberration, but she said the President is being asked to issue a decree dismissing me from office. I told her the President does not have this prerogative because the dismissal is made only by the CCR plenum. She answered: ‘Yes, that is so, but if the President does not issue this decree the [VeDem Just] association will sue us; and if he does, you will sue us.’ I said: of course, I would sue you. I don’t know whether the madam professor spoke on her own behalf or on behalf of the President but, considering the way I was informed, the way the discussion took place, I believe the intention is the issuance of a decree to dismiss me, albeit devoid of juridical value. I repeat, the President does not have the legal possibility to issue this decree. The problem would not be so much mine as it would be the CCR’s. If such a decree is issued and I challenge it, of course, until courts rule the President can say: I won’t dismiss Ms Kovesi, I first have to clarify what’s going on with Lazaroiu’s mandate. The text that allowed me to be appointed for a full mandate is in force. The main idea is that creating pressure is badly wanted,” reads Lazaroiu’s statement included in the dossier that Dragnea brought.
Catalin Ivan: Imagine this meeting of the PSD National Executive Committee like in the tale “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”
The PSD leaders who will meet on Monday at the CEx meeting are not horrified by what they will find out about Liviu Dragnea in the Teleormanleaks scandal, because they do the same, MEP Catalin Ivan, a former PSD member and founder of the party The Alternative for National Dignity, stated for RFI. He compared the meeting of the PSD leadership to “the tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”.
Catalin Ivan expects the revelations made by Rise Project in the so-called Teleormanleaks to become even more important: “Imagine this meeting of the PSD National Executive Committee like in the tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. After Teleormanleaks, when Rise Project will start to study and extract information from that hard disk, from official papers, invoices, ghost companies, probably hundreds of millions of euros, sent to a direction or to another, all the kind of expenses of the Dragnea family supported by Tel Drum and so on, then you will see the scandal, because I believe that the ordinary man who is working all day long to be able to feed his children and doesn’t have money for the next month will be horrified when he will find out about the luxury in which the Romanian politicians and the satellite companies surrounding them are living”.
The former PSD member believes that “those who are sitting at the CEX table are not horrified or shocked about what they will find out about Liviu Dragnea , because they know so well what Liviu Dragnea is doing, since they do the same”, and “their problem is that Ali Baba was caught, that information is finally revealed on the villainous system around Liviu Dragnea”.
Orban: If the suitcase exists, it has to be handed over to DNA
PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban stated on Sunday evening that if the suitcase containing documents of Tel Drum exists, it has to be handed over to DNA, because there is a case opened at the National Anticorruption Directorate.
“If such a suitcase exists, it has to be handed over to DNA, because there is a case opened in the Tel Drum investigation and any relevant information related to the Tel Drum investigation should be provided to DNA”, Ludovic Orban stated on Sunday for MEDIAFAX.
Tariceanu doesn’t believe in the story of the Tel Drum suitcase that was found by accident: It’s a little bit hilarious. It smells like “gossips, swindles and other things”
ALDE Chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Monday that “the story about the suitcase” seems to him “a little bit hilarious, and smells like gossips, swindles and other things like this”.
“I heard about a suitcase, but what seemed to me very interesting… besides the suitcase, I found interesting that it was handed over to the Rise Project representative in the Teleorman County. I had no idea there is a representative in every country, who is ready to take the suitcase, ‘cause I understand that if he took it in the Teleorman County, they probably are in other counties, too, and each of them is prepared, they are breathless. This story smelling like <gossips, swindles and other things like this> seemed to me a little bit hilarious”, Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.
He also said that he didn’t talk about this with the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea.
“We would be ridiculous if we would waste our time”, the ALDE leader added.
Basescu’s reply, after his name appeared in the Suitcase scandal: My phone number is public; it can be found in anyone’s contact list
Former President Traian Basescu mentioned on Monday, following the information that his phone number could be in the contact list from “the famous suitcase found in the field”, that it is “publicly known” and can be found in anyone’s contact list, but he denied that he discussed with people from the Teldrum management.
“For an accurate information and in order to prevent speculations, I will make the following clarifications. I understand that in the already famous suitcase “found in the filed”, containing documents of the Teldrum company, there is also a contact list with phone numbers belonging to a manager of the company, and my name is also in that contact list, therefore I make the following mentions:
- My phone (mobile and landline) phone number is publicly known and can be found in anyone’s contact list;
- I’ve never known, I’ve never met intentionally, and I’ve never spoke by the phone or directly with people from the Teldrum management.
Have a good day!”, Traian Basescu wrote on Facebook.
Buzatu, PSD Vaslui: I am very circumspect. I don’t want to be a victim of manipulation
PSD Vaslui Chairman Dumitru Buzatu stated on Sunday for a TV channel that he is not interested in the suitcase with Tel Drum documents that was found in Teleorman, the subject will not be discussed by the party’s leadership and he doesn’t want to be “a victim of manipulation”.
“It’s very interesting how Rise Project finds every day, every night, or evening, or morning, a suitcase. I am very circumspect about these things, I don’t want to be a victim of manipulation, I’m not interested on these things, because we cannot solve them even in the CEx of PSD. If there are issues related to the program of the party or of the Government, to the decisions we make at CEx, I can comment such things in detail, I can express my opinion and communicate to my colleagues, too. Otherwise, I heard such things almost every day, for 27 years, since I became a politician”, the PSD Vaslui Chairman Dumitru Buzatu stated on Sunday for Realitatea TV.
Asked if the suitcase containing documents of Tel Drum makes the PSD leader Liviu Dragna vulnerable, Buzatu answered: “These things and this manner in which the press and the political leaders of the Opposition present these facts, is a wrong manner, in which nobody from Romania is now interested”.
Radulescu suspects certain “putschists” from inside the party of getting involved in the appearance of the TelDrum suitcase
PSD MP Catalin Radulescu stated for MEDIAFAX that the appearance of the suitcase with documents from Tel Drum could be an attempt of certain people “associated with the Securitate” to create an event before the Monday’s CEx meeting of the party, referring to certain putschists from inside the party.
“I think it’s an attempt of certain guys associated with the Securitate to produce a sort of event before CEx, and when I say this, I refer to certain people who probably are putschists inside our party. I mean the appearance of such stupid things one day before the CEx is very clear, it is exactly the Securitate model, a new issue is revealed to tip the balance against the party’s chairman. All the investigations were made by prosecutors until now, and I don’t believe in such a thing, first of all I don’t believe in Chairman Dragnea’s connection with a construction company, what does he have to do with it? All the Chairmen of the County Councils have 5-7, 1-2 construction companies in their counties, but this doesn’t mean they are the owners of those construction companies”, Radulescu stated on Sunday evening.
The Social Democrat said that the suitcase with information from inside the company Tel Drum will not affect the progress of the Monday’s CExN meeting.
Being asked if he believes that the putschists from PSD are involved in the actions he described, Radulescu said yes.
“I believe so, I mean I believe those who are affiliated to certain people from the Securitate, that is to say from SRI, invented all sorts of things like this now just to tip the balance with a heavy stone against the Chairman Dragnea, believing that tomorrow things will turn. They will not turn, because things must be sliced, we cannot continue forever with scandals, with agendas made by them, with public statements, with denigrations, because we have things to do and we do them every week, and Romanians don’t know about these things because of them. We separate from each other, that’s life, each of us has his job and his path. But we cannot continue to stay with people who wish a single thing, namely to replace Chairman Dragnea and lead the party”, Radulescu stated.