Evenimentul Zilei > English section > The unknown part of a Statement: Liviu Dragnea prepares an assault on the SRI! Cristoiu’s Romania
The unknown part of a Statement: Liviu Dragnea prepares an assault on the SRI! Cristoiu’s Romania

The unknown part of a Statement: Liviu Dragnea prepares an assault on the SRI! Cristoiu’s Romania

Monday around noon, accessing the main news sites - all TeFeListe - I came across a headline like set as a hat on all the content, the same. Something like Eduard Hellvig responds to Liviu Dragnea.

In his press statement at the end of the CEXN meeting on Friday, June 22, 2018, Liviu Dragnea proclaimed:

"Neither Iohannis, nor Helvig nor Pahonţu, nor Kövesi, nor Băsescu, nor Ponta, nor Oprea, nor others, scare me. The objectives I have committed to and for which I have assumed the responsibility remain the same and, together with my colleagues, both here and from the country, we will complete them. Thank you, this was my statement!"

I left the type of ending "This was my statement" on purpose, to indicate that the speaker wanted to give through it a character of historical document to the text, the kind of words spoken by Constantine, the Emperor of Byzantium, on the evening of 28 May 1453, before the black Tuesday of the final assault of the Ottomans against Constantinople. Liviu Dragnea, PSD chairman and chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, made a verbal tick to give others signals known only by him and the recipients in matters of maximum public interest.

In this case, the assertion that Iohannis, Kovesi, Pahonţu, Ponta, Basescu do not frighten him passed as normal. These names account for Liviu Dragnea's public opponents. Strange were the references to two names: Gabriel Oprea and Eduard Hellvig. What threat is to him the general dragged by the DNA in the unique process in the civilized world of being responsible for a deadly road accident, because he was in the car following the police crew?

In Eduard Hellvig's case, the strangeness is threefold. First, because Eduard Hellvig is the SRI's Director. How could the director of the SRI scare the party head and chamber of the Parliament? Then, until recently, Eduard Hellvig was bathed by the same Liviu Dragnea in the sweetest spoils about the changes in the well made in the SRI's work. Last but not least, the oddity comes from the level at which the assertion took place. Liviu Dragnea is the chairman of the ruling party and the third man in the state. At such level, you are not even allowed to give the director of the SRI an allusion to the bodega, let alone in a public intervention broadcasted live by the news television. At such a level, if you already have a clear stance on what you think is the violation by the SRI of the Constitution, by hiring the director in personal wars with a politician, you support a broad press statement in which you make precise, targeted allegations, duplicated by documents and announce the measures taken to end the abuse. You don't resume to a hint like I'm not scared.

Knowing these things, I flinched at the phrase Eduard Hellvig responded. I knew that the SRI Director had made a living rule not to be trained in polemics, not even cordial, with politicians or journalists who attacked him. Curious to see how this deviation from the norm occurred, I accessed the news with the motif of the titles mentioned above.

Surprise, surprise!

Under the hat of the titles with Eduard Hellvig response, there is information about an uncommon event in the history of the Romanian Secret Service in post Decembrism.

On Monday, June 25, 2018, a Communiqué of the Board of the Romanian Intelligence Service was published, containing not decisions on the internal activity of the SRI, usually secret, but public notices regarding the relationship the Service has with the surrounding world:

"Following the latest events and public statements, the Board of Directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service makes the following remarks:

It is regrettable that they are trying to attract the Romanian Intelligence Service into a speculative area through false allegations, unjustified accusations and defamation of the Service staff. SRI firmly condemns these attempts to denigrate the institution and assures its internal and external partners that it will remain anchored in its missions that concern exclusively national security.

The SRI Director, Mr. Eduard Hellvig, assures all Romanian citizens of non-involvement in any kind of power games, keeping the institution out of political debates and determination in the joint effort to preserve national security."

In order to understand the event on Monday, June 25, 2018, we need to recall the governing structure of the SRI according to the law. From the SRI site, quite well done, if I think about catastrophes from other institutions of the rule of law, we find out that "The deliberative structure of the Romanian Intelligence Service is the Board of Directors, composed of the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, the deputy and his deputies, as well as heads of some central and territorial units. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service".

The following governing structure is the "Executive Board of the Board of Directors, which ensures the operative management of the Romanian Intelligence Service and the implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors. He is made up of the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, his first Deputy and his deputies."

The director and his four deputies also belong to the governing structure:

"The Romanian Intelligence Service is headed by a director with a rank of minister, appointed by Parliament at the proposal of the President of Romania.

The Director is seconded by a first deputy – for the information-operations area and three deputies. The First Deputy and Deputy Directors have the rank of Secretary of State and are appointed by the President of Romania, at the proposal of the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service."

Law no. 14 of February 24, 1992 (updated) on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Intelligence Service, provides guidance on the Board of Directors through the articles:

7. "The Board of Directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service meets, as a rule, quarterly, the meetings being convened by its chairman. In case of emergency, at the request of at least one third of its members or at the request of the Director, the Board of Directors shall meet as often as necessary"

And 18: "The Board of Directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service operates in the presence of at least two-thirds of its members and shall take decisions with the vote of at least half plus one of the total number of members."

I have reminded here the SRI's governing structure not to fill in for the direction of the press and communication, from which I know only the sympathetic Ovidiu Marincea, but to signal the exceptional note of the Communiqué. It's not a public intervention of the SRI spokesman, it's not a text written on Facebook by director Eduard Hellvig, it's not a sum of considerations from the director in an interview, and it’s not even a document assumed by the Executive Bureau. It is a publicly accepted document of the SRI's most important decision-making organism: the Board of Directors. How the Board legally meets, I already knew. How it met in this case I did not know. As a result, I officially addressed Ovidiu Marincea, the SRI spokesman (a poor pensioner like me cannot afford to bother the director!) to find out the details indispensable to a correct conclusion. I thus formally learned that this was an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors convened also for matters concerning the internal work of the SRI, the  Council at which the Communiqué was read, which was then adopted by the Council as a whole.

We are in the face of an event: The most important collective leadership of the SRI feels the need for an intervention in the public space which condemns the campaign committed against the Service.

Is it an attempt made by Eduard Hellvig to respond to Liviu Dragnea? I don't believe so.

I do not see Eduard Hellvig implicating the Board nor even in a reply to Liviu Dragnea.

Usually, SRI avoided engaging in public controversy with politicians and journalists.

I think it's a lot more complicated.

Liviu Dragnea gave the hint on Friday the comments requested by the press on Monday at an ad-hoc talk:

"Reporter: The SRI has asked not to be involved in public debates. How do you see this …?

Liviu Dragnea: I heard what they asked for. It is good not to be involved in anything other than the legal and constitutional powers. They are involved in public debates because of the information regarding effective involvement in other actions that are unrelated to their attributions.

Reporter: But what has changed? Because you have so far been pleased with Eduard Hellvig's activity; you said you were pleased with Eduard Hellvig's work at the head of the SRI. What happened? From the moment the sentence came, you also spoke about Hellvig, that you are not afraid of him, along with Kovesi and the others.

Liviu Dragnea: You ask a question for half an hour and then I do not have time to answer. It happened that he also succumbed. (Note that the head of the PSD became bumpkin with the journalists)

Reporter: Parallel State?

Liviu Dragnea: Yes! Good bye, have a good day!"

Even if he kept the under the mustache type allusion, Liviu Dragnea threw a light on the out of the ordinary intervention of the Board of Directors:

The Board of Directors knows that under the leadership of Liviu Dragnea, the PSD-ALDE coalition is preparing a major assault on the SRI.

They plan to cut European funds, drastically reduce the budget, passing through the Parliament a law that will result in the SRI Director being subordinated to Liviu Dragnea.

For purely personal reasons (which I know), Liviu Dragnea is about to involve the Coalition into a new, useless and costly war: the one with SRI.