Who called Laura Codruta Kovesi, who she had private discussions with? Former lawmaker describes also an important episode: what did Victor Ponta and Florian Coldea argued about.
Ion Cristoiu: Yes. We talked about your meetings from your home or cellar with Codruta Kovesi and at one point in a recording you are saying, one thing that surprised me by disclosure, I quote: "I will tell you how I met Codruta Kovesi because many of you asked this. I met Mrs. Codruta Kovesi on the premises of SRI, at K2, K4 and at T14. There we met at least twice a week since 2010. And this series of meetings lasted until the year 2014. The reality is that maybe hundreds of such meetings took place in these years. At some of the meetings were present only General Florian Coldea, Laura Codruta Kovesi and a head of the CIA station from Romania. The first one I met in the presence of Mrs. Kovesi and Mr. Coldea was Mr. Karl Schwab, former head of Mrs. Kovesi. And the second is Eric Easlew, perhaps the present head of Mrs. Kovesi". Mr. Sebastian Ghita…
Sebastian Ghita: I get the impression that Mr. Maior has confirmed some of these things at the Commission.
- No, not that I haven't said… Yes? Look I did not know…
- Take the statement of Mr. Manda.
- What did he confirm?
- The meetings between me, Mrs. Kovesi and him from the premises of SRI.
"It wasn't me who initiated the meetings in the premises of SRI"
- No. Wait. The first question, which is of a perplexed man. I understand. That Mrs. Kovesi was coming to your home, let's say it was a matter of… But why did you meet twice per week in the premises? What was the deal? You were a business man and she was Attorney General. Why?
- You can’t answer…
- No, I can answer. But let’s separate the periods. From 2012 already…
- You no longer met…
- It’s not true, but in 2012 I already got in the SRI Commission and couldn’t get without trouble at the SRI headquarters.
- No, it’s not related to the legality of it. I said once more. You were a prosperous businessman. What was your business to meet in an office, in the presence of Coldea – we get to the other guys also, the foreigners- with the Attorney General. I have asked a question of good sense, any viewer asks himself.
- But do not consider me the initiator or the beneficiary of the meeting, that is, not to seem more important than I am…
- No, no, no. I was wondering in terms of…
- In general…
- They had any business with you?
- They had business with me also and generally Florian Coldea met with her, called her, discussed with Codruta Kovesi and many others of us were also present there. Sometimes they talked separately, sometimes just Maior and Kovesi discussed. Sometimes they were simple, civil discussions…
- And why was the Attorney General called on safety issues that depend on ILLEGAL OPERATIONS?
- Things are not quite like that. Do you remember that the General Prosecutor's Office, when it was ruled by Kovesi, was involved in many other activities and issues that have moved with the departure of Kovesi at DNA?
“Coldea was helping Kovesi both institutionally and personally”
- Was Florian Coldea the protector of Codruţa Kovesi?
- How much he helped her in the activity without any relation to national safety?
- You refer to cooperation between SRI and DNA or the connection between the two?
- No. So Codruta Kovesi had a whole list of things to solve. Do you agree?
- One or two of these things were of national safety and had to speak with Coldea. Where there other things outside of safety?
- What do you mean, obviously?
- Obviously. Do you want to…?
- Well I wonder, because I'm amazed. What business did the head, the first Deputy of SRI, have with…?
- You are amazed by the theoretical idea or you are amazed at the 10 years that we've all lived?
- I am astonished because it doesn't seem normal. You are saying that the SRI helped her in some matters, I don't know, to find drugs… and somehow solved her career. Isn't it? Contributed to her success.
- I think the SRI has helped all the Attorney's offices and all public prosecutors. It's true that Codruta more than others.
- I was referring to the fact that Florian Coldea helped Codruta Kovesi also outside the national security issues. This is what I meant.
- Yes, I am convinced so. They were also friends. I think that he helped her both personally and institutionally. But it was the merit of Codruţa Kovesi that she stood so close to General Coldea. After Florian Coldea left from the Services, we all saw who the mind was who ruled things and how much longer could Codruta Kovesi control this odious mechanism. In a year or six months it collapsed.
“I think that the CIA has one of the most powerful antennas in the area”
- What were they…? It's true that those you listed, the two had ties to the CIA.
- It's an obvious thing.
- I don't know, for me it's not, I have no idea.
- I think you have a pretty good idea.
- What did the two have to do with…? I suspect that he was undercover, the head of the CIA antenna here. What business they had with the Prosecutor General?
- Let's not be naive. It's happening and has happened in Romania all sorts of situations and elements… card theft, drugs, terrorism, and extraditions. However a foreign service in Romania does not appear without special contacts with chiefs of the Services in the country concerned, and with the Attorney General, and with the Anti-corruption Prosecutor, and the Prosecutor for ILLEGAL OPERATIONS.
- I understood from the press that it was still in business when you submitted on December 28. Yes?
- Yes. I did it intentionally to draw the attention to them.
- Were you allowed?
- …that all this…
- Wasn’t he undercover?
- And what is my problem? What was my duty towards an officer of a foreign country, even partner? I don't consider him my boss as others in Romania consider them their heads.
- The CIA has strong antenna in Romania?
- I think so; I think one of the most powerful in the area.
Florian Coldea was doing alone the lists of "targets"
- But why did you enter into conflict with Coldea? What started it?
- Many differences of vision and I'm going to say, even if it upsets some again. The theory with lists of barons or lists of PSD members made at a drink with Coldea and with Ponta and Maior is false. Maior and Ponta have struggled hard enough. Not necessarily for one or the other, but for the idea that this mechanism of justice must have a normal course. Coldea never did any list with anyone. They woke up taken by the SWAT teams. And the moment Ponta started saying "Sir, do not overdo, it's not okay with the methods you use, some are false, and Sir here is far too less a statement of an informer to arrest a County Council Chairman or ban him to go there, at his office". In many moments Ponta became more rebellious and everything ended in a conflict. In the last period, in 2014, I can say that the relations were pretty cold between Ponta and Coldea.
- It confirms that discussion Coldea – Ponta where Ponta said that when he will be the President "I'll fire you"? Or is it a legend?
- He said it several times, not once. It's not a legend. He told him several times, Kidding…or not…
- And Coldea took it seriously…
- He didn’t enjoy the joke, as you see…
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