Florian Coldea, former First Deputy Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), stated on Thursday, when leaving the Special Section for Investigating Magistrates, that the SRI was involved in identifying, locating and repatriating Nicolae Popa, that the operation was considered a success, and that it reflects the good cooperation between intelligence services and law-enforcement authorities.
“I can inform you that the SRI was involved in this operation to identify, locate and repatriate Mr Nicolae Popa; it was considered a successful operation, it reflects the good cooperation between the intelligence services and the law-enforcement institutions, a cooperation which – I have noticed, in time – significantly bothers very many persons, and from this standpoint everybody is making desperate efforts so that, basically, this cooperation would affect, one way or another, Romania’s capacity to enforce the law, namely to render Romania vulnerable as a NATO and EU border country,” Florian Coldea stated when leaving the hearings of the Section for Investigating Magistrates.
In what concerns former National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, he said that he did not have information concerning potential offences.
“In what concerns Mrs Laura Codruta Kovesi, personally, in no circumstances did I take note of any activity that would represent an offence, nor did I obtain at the level of the institution any kind of information regarding potential offences or regarding potential information in this regard. (…) I hope with all my heart that it would be important for us to discuss, and I consider it was important to discuss, about all those who did not get involved in bringing Popa to our country, all those who, after more than ten years, did not contribute decisively – as the Romanian Intelligence Service did –, within their capabilities, to carrying out an act of justice for the more than 155,000 persons who lost more than RON 300 million,” Coldea said.
On Thursday, former First Deputy Director of the SRI Florian Coldea showed up at the Special Section for Investigating Magistrates, where he was heard for approximately four hours in the case concerning the extradition of former National Investment Fund (FNI) Director Nicolae Popa, a case in which Laura Codruta Kovesi is being probed.
In this case, former DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi is being criminally probed for abuse of office, passive bribery and perjury.
The case was opened in December 2018, following a notification lodged by ex-MP Sebastian Ghita. The latter fled to Serbia after he was indicted in several corruption cases.
Ghita claims that in 2011 Kovesi asked him to pay EUR 200,000 to cover the cost of flying former FNI Director Nicolae Popa back to Romania. An international arrest warrant had been issued on Popa’s name.
In December 2018, the Romanian Police informed that it paid an airline more than RON 234,000 in order to bring the ex-FNI Director from Indonesia to Romania.