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March 30, 2023

Trial of former President Traian Basescu for political police collaboration postponed for three months

The Administrative Litigation Section of Romania’s Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (ICCJ) on Friday postponed to February 25, 2022 ruling on a challenge filed by former President Traian Basescu in his trial in which the court of first instance ruled that he was an informant of the late political police Securitate.

The file was registered with the court in June 2020, but the court set the start of the trial to November 2021, which is a delay of one year and five months.

On Friday, Basescu did not show up for the first hearing, as his legal adviser, former Minister of Justice Valeriu Stoica, appeared instead.

The judges took up a motion to join the trial filed by Mugur Ciuvica, chairman of the Political Investigation Group, who claims that he has an interest in being a party to the trial because in 2005 he was forced by court to pay damages to Basescu after calling the former president a “Securitate informant.”

However, the magistrates decided to postpone the trial for three months, namely to February 25, 2022, in order for Ciuvica to read the court filings.

On September 20, 2019, the Bucharest Court of Appeal – the court of first instance – took up a motion filed by the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) and ruled that Basescu had collaborated with the late communist political police.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal took nine months to provide the reasoning behind their ruling, and in June 2020, the case reached the Supreme Court – Administrative Litigation Section, after Basescu filed an appeal.

The court section ordered that the trial start only on November 5, 2021, almost a year and a half after receiving the casefile from the Bucharest Court of Appeal.

According to CNSAS, Basescu allegedly told on one of his merchant navy colleagues, which led to that person being grounded in Romania.

Court filings submitted to the court by CNSAS show that Basescu would have had a liaison officer in the rank of lieutenant-colonel appointed by the late Securitate to whom he would have given two hand-written informative notes.

According to CNSAS, during his collaboration with the Securitate, Basescu provided information denouncing activities contrary to the totalitarian communist regime, such as the intention to go abroad and having relations with foreign citizens, existing in informative notes of May 5, 1975.

“Analysing the information provided by the defendant, we consider that that was aimed at restricting the right to privacy (Article 17 in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and the liberty of movement (Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” wrote CNSAS.

According to CNSAS, following one of the informative notes submitted by Basescu on a colleague, the Securitate denied the latter’s appointment to Romanian ships that were leaving the country’s borders.

During the trial at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, Basescu denied having been a Securitate informant.

“CNSAS and I have totally different points of view. We will be reconciled by a third, the judge,” Basescu said at the time.

He said in court that he did not know that a conspiratorial name had been assigned to him, insisting that his reports were signed “Captain Traian Basescu.”

“I did not know that I was given a conspiratorial name. I did not sign a pledge to include a conspiratorial name. (…) I did not know that the Military Counterintelligence Service was the Securitate. I thought it was a service of the Defence Ministry.”

He added that the students of the Civilian Section of the Navy Institute were not forbidden to get in touch with foreign citizens, to have relations with them outside their professional setting. He recalled that in summer, as students, they would go to the Black Sea resort of Mamaia, where they would meet young people from Czechoslovakia.

“Romanian ships were operating in all ports of the world, and at the Merchant Section students would get accustomed to and prepared for contacts with foreigners. (…) We never considered that our relations with Czech students could be condemned. We were not hiding, because no one was forbidding us to do that,” said Basescu, according to Agerpres.


Photo: Facebook/Traian Basescu

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