A name that has been in the entourage of important politicians, is the friend of former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, former head of the SRI, George Maior, former first Deputy of SRI, Florian Coldea, head of STS, Marcel Opriș, but also of the current head of DNA, Laura Codruta Kovesi. In today's material dedicated to Operation "We Are the State!" we will try to answer the essential question in this case: How did Sebastian became from a System’s favorite, a person hunted by most of those whom he considered close? It is a question that many prefer not to answer. Most of the explanation lies in the very privileged relationship he had with the SRI heads and major political persons, who thought that they can manipulate him as they want, but not only. We talk about friendships, or relationships based on common interests? Where did they separate, which was the reason they quarreled? Is Sebastian Ghiță a man which the System wants brought to Romania in order to silence him? DNA aggressiveness, who issued five arrest warrants on his name, raises some question marks, while Laura Codruta Kovesi is directly concerned for Sebastian Ghita to be quiet!
A long and complicated history, which we try to figure out.
How Sebastian Ghiță, a brilliant IT specialist, enter in the System's attention
1997. THE BEGINNINGS
Sebastian Ghiță went into business at the age of 19, before beginning his studies at the Faculty of Management of Oil and Gas from University of Ploiești. He finished "Mihai Viteazu" high school in Ploiești, computer class, and immediately after graduation he founded the company Asesoft International SA, together with some fellows from high school. At first, the services offered were assembling computers from components according to customer's demands.
"I worked since high school as a programmer on various projects at companies that had already begun to move. I made some money. In 12th grade, I've even bought a car with the money I made during high school, a Renault 25. Until then I didn't have a driver's license and had no reason to waist money on cars", said Sebastian Ghiță in an interview in 2008.
1998. BASKETBALL BECOMES FROM PASSION, BUSINESS
Sebastian Ghita became known thanks to basketball team CSU Asesoft Ploiesti, founded in 1998.
"I played basketball at the school's Sports Club, than at a team from Division B and after that I made the 1st Division team where I played for a year," confessed Sebastian Ghiță.
Until 2002, thanks to some important funding made by its group of companies, the team was promoted in the Premier League. In 2004, the team won the first national title, being the leader in the League each season, with the exception of the one in 2011. In the year 2005, the team was winning the international FIBA Europe Cup trophy, a first for the Romanian basketball. During the time Sebastian Ghiță was financing CSU Asesoft Ploiești, he would have invested around 15 million euro. The team collapsed with his vanishing in 2015.
2000-2009. BUSINESS EXPANSION.
Shortly, from a single firm that specializes in IT, Sebastian Ghiță extends its spheres of activity. Until 2012, Ghita was a shareholder at eMag, Flanco, Network One Distribution, Asesoft Web, Teamnet-supplier of IT services to companies and institutions of the State. He held the Rotherfield Properties, by which he was producing wine. Through the company Corni Eolian he entered the wind power market. In the real estate industry he has been less active, building a block of flats in Ploiești. In 2009, his wealth was estimated at 100 million euros.
2000. THE FIRST MAJOR CONTRACT AND ROUGH CONTACT WITH SRI.
A first important contract, which led to a file tried for 12 years at the HCCJ, apparently was based on the famous SRI Colonel Corneliu Păltânea, head of the SRI establishment in Ploiești, a very influential figure in the director mandates of Virgil Magureanu and Radu Timofte.
About SRI Colonel Corneliu Păltânea was rumored that he is the one who helped Ghiță to obtain a contract with Petrobrazi refinery, but he claimed in public the contrary.
Yet he appears to be Sebastian Ghiță's first contact with SRI.
"Colonel Corneliu Păltânea is the one who introduced him to the head of Petrobrazi refinery. It was a contract for the acquisition of computer systems that were going to be received by the refinery, which at that time was under the authority of the State, being owned by Petrom National Company. The factory paid Ghiță the computers through petroleum products which were premium quality", claimed some sources cited by biz.ro.
Only that, as I said, Ghiță denied this variant, suspecting the head of SRI-Ploiești that he made this file in 2002.
"I attended together with a consortium made of some American firms-Honeywell, Emerson, Process Management and Aspentech at modernizing a refinery. We knew how to make a small part of soft: advanced control of processes. There were some programs that had to be adapted and some codes needed writing and it was us who have obtained the participation at the Consortium" (Hotnews interview -2014)
Hence Sebastian Ghita's first peculiar file, being sent to court for abuse.
Only that, in 2004, on two occasions, Ghita was acquitted by the Bucharest Tribunal and, subsequently, by the Court of appeal. The decisions, however, have been quashed by the HCCJ and decided retrial. In 2016, the judgment of the dossier Thrace-Asesoft ceased as a result of prescription, provided that the High Court has written black on white: acquittals in what concerns Sebastian Ghiță are maintained by the HCCJ.
2004. DOCUMENTS THAT SPEAK ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF SEBASTIAN GHIȚĂ’S RELATIONSHIP WITH SRI.
According to documents published by Robert Turcescu, Sebastian Ghiță entered "again" to the attention of the Romanian Information Service since 2004.
In an article published in the Evenimentul zilei we said that by that act, entitled "An annex to the form of security", signed on 27 august 2004, in front of Lieutenant-Colonel Narcis Drăghici, Ghiță consented that all data "that I provide to be checked, being aware of the legal consequences of false data or omissions knowingly".
It was said then that Sebastian Ghiță requested "security advice" needed to continue its work on the service, attaching a handwritten resume and some data about his relatives.
This CV is hand written, possibly by his hand. Instead, the document of Advice bears only the name of Sebastian Ghita, full name being Sebastian Aurelian Ghita, what raises questions over the authenticity of the document. However, looking back the evolution of events, the document starts to make sense.
2007-2009. THE FIRST CONTRACTS WITH SRI AND PRIVILEGED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GENERALS FROM THE SYSTEM.
The first significant contract of the firms controlled by Sebastian Ghiță with national institutions in the area of safety was in November 2005, made with the Ministry of National Defense. Coincidentally or not, State Secretary in the Ministry of National Defense was also George Maior, the future director of SRI.
In June 2007, the Institute for Advanced Technologies of SRI awards a contract of 96.887 lei to Asesoft Smart SRL, Sebastian Ghiță's company. It is only the first contract of a long series.
In early 2008, Asesoft International receives a new contract of 5 million lei allocated by the Directorate of Communications and Information Technology within the SRI, the underlying structure at that time to General Dumitru Zamfir, Deputy Director SRI. Subsequently, respectively from the year 2011, public data show that companies controlled by Sebastian Ghita, 2 k Telecom and Teamnet International SA, had more often associated with General Dumitru Zamfir, ex-Deputy Director of SRI, Global Security Consulting SRL, in the societies Penta Group TSM, Logical Integrated Systems LTD.
The departure of Dumitru Zamfir from the head of SRI, in December 2008, coincides with the beginning of the friendship between Florian Coldea, first Deputy Director of SRI, and Sebastian Ghiță. The two approached as a result of the link which General SRI Dumitru Zamfir enabled, being at that time extremely close.
This information confirms what Sebastian Ghiță affirmed in a registration from 5 January 2017:
"I suspect that you wondered how I got at these meetings. High-ranking persons of SRI have presented me Florian Coldea in 2008. We were young, had small children and we tied a close friendship. We both believed in a better Romania and had in mind to do as much as we can for Romania to grow, to develop and to find ourselves a place in our country. For seven years, our children have grown up together. I'm not showing you any pictures of them because the children have no fault".
A testimony of an overflowing sincerity, which I can confirm as one who saw with his own eyes: Coldea and Ghita were, in 2009-2010, family friends!
I mention that, for reasons of space, I will not get into the mechanism of contracts with State institutions of force.
2009. CONTACT WITH HIGH-LEVEL POLICY AND FRIENDSHIP WITH VICTOR PONTA.
Until this moment, 2009, Sebastian Ghita was one of the constant sponsors of the parties, being closer to PDL and Roberta Anastase, former President of the Chamber of Deputies, than to PSD.
According to the list of donations from the Official Monitor, Ghita poured in the the 2008 campaign of the party led by Emil Boc's, then at government, 80.000 lei through Asesoft International and another 55.000 lei by the company Teamnet.
He had yet a special relationship with Mircea Cozma, President of Prahova County Council, one of the heavy members in PSD, to which in 2000 he tried to submit a project of integrated information system throughout the County, was refused, returned in 2001 and worked at this 4 years.
In august 2009,at the lead of PSD Prahova has been installed Mircea Cozma, who replaced Marian Săniuță, one of Ion Iliescu's favorites, head of the subsidiary being Victor Ponta, at that time Vice President of the party at national level.
The relationship between Sebastian Ghita and Victor Ponta began to be close, the two having a common passion: basketball. According to sources from PSD, Sebastian Ghita was the one who proposed to Ponta to handle the organization PSD Ploiești. It was a political bet, doubled as in the case of Florian Coldea, by an extremely close relationship on a personal level. Only Florian Coldea decided to destroy him, and Victor Ponta remained faithful.
2009-2010. SEBASTIAN GHIȚA BEGINS TO PLAY AT A HIGH LEVEL IN SRI AND PSD.
I recalled the meeting in the house of Gabriel Oprea on the night of 6-7 December 2009, where I met with George Maior, Florian Coldea (head of SRI), Laura Codruta Kovesi, Romania's general prosecutor and other persons. As I was telling you, during the discussion, in addition to the results of the vote, two problems were concerning those present: the aggressive attitude of the press anti-Basescu, especially Realitatea TV, and the PSD strategy post-election.
In both situation, Sebastian Ghita, had a major role!
He was the one who provided the key information concerning the manner in which Catalin Voicu wanted to block the validation of results by the CCR. I know this because a high-level person from SRI confirmed this in the context of a discussion from CSAT, from 2011-2012, when Traian Basescu requested the institutions of force to monitor the contracts he concluded.
Then, their argument in his defense was that the one who saved the situation of 2009 elections has been Sebastian Ghita.
Was it true, or just trying to cover up the privileged relationship with him, is hard to say! But the topic remains.
A reference to this also appears in the stenograph of the discussions between Sorin Ovidiu Vantu and Sebastian Ghiță, from 2013:
Sebastian Ghiță: I'm not talking about that, I talk about checks, cutting contracts, remember that that (TRAIAN BASESCU) made CSAT against me, with a single point. With all of the Ministers at the table he said: "Stop all ASESOFT contracts". CSAT!
SG: Yes, CSAT in January…
2009. SEBASTIAN GHIȚA ARRANGES THE RETURN OF NICOLAE POPA FROM INDONESIA.
"You want another proof of the relationship with Laura Codruta Kovesi? At the request of Mrs. Kovesi, a building company in Ploiesti, who received money from Asesoft, was the one who paid for the plane bringing Nicolae Popa, former director of FNI, from Indonesia, Jakarta. (…) The reality is that a private firm, at the request of the Romanian State and of Mrs. Codruta Kovesi, paid 200.000 euros in order for the one who failed the FNI and stole hundreds of thousands of people, to be brought back. And I would like to ask Mrs. Kovesi, what kind of an operation is this? Are we guilty of money laundering? It's just her? It's just me?" said Ghita in a record.
It was (just) the DNA chief who asked for this, or was it a new Binomial operation? I lean towards the latter, having confirmed the following information. Bringing Nicolae Popa in Bucharest was a special operation that had as purpose to keep the secrecy of the operation, not some caprice.
This was going to be the key factor in winning the presidential elections.
The fact that the President of Indonesia agreed to turn it Nicolae Popa was not supposed to turn in a domestic problem for him, the business man having relationships based on financial interest with an important Indonesian official. So renting a private plane was preferred to extract him from Indonesia, as discreetly as possible.
Why was Sebastian Ghita used for this operation? For this you need to reread the early moments, 2004 and 2008. Does he know other things too? Of course, Yes!
2010. THE TAKEOVER OF REALITATEA TV AND THE INDICTMENT OF SOV, A FIRST SUCCESSFUL ACTION OF THE BINOMIAL
As I was saying, Sebastian Ghiță received another "mission": to take Sorin Ovidiu Vantu out of the game and to take over Realitatea TV.
Here it is enough to reread Ghiță's testimony before his run-away.
"Kovesi approached me in the SRI building called K2. We were sitting together at the table and she told me that, listening on Vantu for a long time, she realized that he no longer has the funding for Realitatea TV. And she practically proposed, explained to me how vulnerable Vantu is and that he will accept, in some way, to receive funding and to give up Realitatea TV.
I accepted this, her thinking that she will be able to subdue him, to take him out of the game much quicker and thinking perhaps that Realitatea TV will become an obedient television, which will give more laudatory news regarding the people of the day. This has not happened. However, I signed that contract with Vantu and I accepted to finance Realitatea TV, "says Ghita, at the beginning of recording broadcast by Romania TV.
"At some time, friction began between me and Sorin Ovidiu Vîntu, and Kovesi, waiting at the corner, took into account as a file based on these tensions, these quarrels, to be done by her. And started explaining how and in what ways can be conducted the discussions with Vantu, so that they look like blackmail, threat, or to fit to some criminal offences.
I listened to Mrs. Kovesi because we had a relationship of trust and friendship, and because the field was appealing to me, because at some point there was an extreme amount of passion in her desire to clog Vantu and I wouldn't have wanted to refuse or to argue with her.
I will show you evidence and proofs which sustain my affirmations. Mrs. Kovesi put pressure on me, she suggested, she explained to me how to come with these misleading denouncements, with such information, with such data, which she will interpret, wanting to make a large file, a famous file".
Then there were the emails to the address [email protected] between Sebastian Ghiță and Laura Codruța Kovesi. In fact, it was the culminating moment in which was triggered the System's anger against Sebastian Ghiță. Because they understood that he was not going to stop, and the documents he could make public were extremely compromising for the head of DNA, but also for SRI General Florian Coldea.
In reality, it is presumed that Sebastian Ghiță showed only an insignificant sample of what he has as weapons of attack. This makes him dangerous? A question whose answer is: Yes!
2010. THE MOMENT I RECEIVED CONFIRMATION THAT THE PRIME DEPUTY OF SRI AND THE BUSINESSMAN HAVE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
"At the beginning of 2010, at the beginning of February, we were with our families in the Seychelles, only us (Sebastian Ghiță and Florian Coldea-n.r). It was before the PSD Congress and we decided to go on a holiday, on an exotic island. We stayed together. We stayed at the Hilton Seychelles SPA. By mistake, I found the hotel's flyer at home. We stayed for 10 days and I remember kindly asking him to help Ponta win the PSD elections, but Coldea said that Basescu did not want Ponta. Diaconescu, Geoana, anyone but not Ponta at PSD, was the message.
Dan Andronic from EVZ can confirm that we have intersected at the airport in Istanbul at arrival. He then chatted while boarding the plane with me and Coldea. Florian Coldea was scared of Andronic and although hag a business class ticket, went to economy class. He was afraid that Basescu wouldn't find out who was with on the trip. It was not the only holiday with Coldea". This is what Ghita says, and I confirmed.
In February 2010, I met at the boarding Office of Turkish Airlines to Bucharest with SRI General Florian Coldea. He traveled to Bucharest alongside Sebastian Ghita and spouses, at business-class. Out of fear, or of precaution, has changed the ticket to economy class…
No matter what the reason was, those two were returning from holiday along with their families.
2010. PONTA BECOMMES PSD PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN GHIȚA HAS A CRUCIAL ROLE.
Immediately after the journey from the Seychelles along with SRI Gen. Florian Coldea, PSD Congress takes place, where the involvement of Sebastian Ghita is total. Ensuring the victory of Victor Ponta, despite the other side's efforts led by Marian Vanghelie, who wanted Mircea Geoană maintained, even if he lost the elections to Traian Băsescu.
"We went there, we from Ploieşti, 30 or I don't know how many, I gave them some of those vests, I've said: "Yo, you guys are from the guard, keep all the doors, do not let anyone enter only who we want». After that I faked all the name tags from guard, brought by some of our own, guests and delegates name tags. Afterwards we made good stamps, to be on all ballots, so Vanghelie and the others not to make any tricks, after that we went in the evening, I went there, and my folks were putting up cameras, plasma stuff, but I tell them: «put some of that cameras above the polls, in the corners, a small camera is not seen ", says Ghita, according to records in the press.
Sebastian Ghita also explains how he changed the order of the participants at the Presidium to favor Ponta, but also that he was dealing with the sound. "And to film directly the polls, I knew exactly why, I was thinking that they are going to have to fully scrutinize the polls, give them on television and they get scared. And after that I went there, the tables were arranged, next to Iliescu was Geoana, after him Ponta there…, he was close to leaving the Hall. I took the riders, I've moved from side to side, from one place to another, I've put Ponta exactly near Nea Nelu. When Ponta gave his speech I made microphones loudly, when the others spoke the microphones were low", told Sebastian Ghita.
It mattered in this whole equation, the family relationship between George Maior, head of the SRI, and Victor Ponta, new President of the PSD? At first glance it seems not, the one who had to be persuaded to help Victor Ponta, in the race for the party's Presidency, being Florian Coldea his Deputy. Seems odd, but master of the political game in PSD was Florian Coldea, not George Maior! What involvement could have SRI in the PSD elections, is only a naive question, isn't it?
What happened after this point gains a completely different connotation.
2012. A PEAK YEAR OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SRI AND SEBASTIAN GHIȚA.
"In October 2012 I was with Florian Coldea, Vasile Dîncu and my brother-in-law Cristi Anastasescu in Tuscany at a Villa," said Sebastian Ghiță. He deliberately omitted a name: that of George Maior, at that time Director of SRI, a name that will come out after the hearings in the SRI Commission.
I think that the year 2012 is the first time we can say that Sebastian Ghita was getting closer to George Maior rather than Florian Coldea. And Florian Coldea began to move away from Sebastian Ghiță.
In 2012, Sebastian Ghiță decides to run for a seat in Parliament. Immediately after validation he becomes a member of the Commission for Control and supervision of SRI, gaining an official quality which allowed him to meet with the officials of the SRI.
Moreover, as recognized by Adrian Țuțuianu also, following the hearing of SRI Director Eduard Hellvig resulted that "with regard to the period 2010-2012, respectively from the first meetings to the time at which he became a Deputy, the official response of SRI was:"( Sebastian Ghiță n.n.) Was present as a person who had information of interest to national security".
A shy confirmation of the meetings which claimed Sebastian Ghiță. "Mrs. Kovesi I met on the premises of SRI. At K2, K4 and at the T14. There we met at least twice a week since 2010. And it took this series of meetings, till the year 2014. The reality is that maybe hundreds of such meetings were in these years. At some of the meetings were present only General Florian Coldea, Laura Codruta Kovesi and a CIA station chief from Romania".
When was Sebastian Ghita put in touch with the heads of the CIA? Were such links featured by SRI legal? When they occurred, before or after he became a Deputy? A frontal approach to this issue would raise big headaches to those who would seize themselves in such a problem.
2012-2014. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND TOTAL RUPTURE BETWEEN SEBASTIAN GHIȚA AND FLORIAN COLDEA.
Here is the most sensitive moment of the relationship that Prime Deputy SRI had with Sebastian Ghiță. The moment in which the PSD Deputy has to choose between his relationship with Victor Ponta and with the Prime Deputy of SRI.
And Sebastian Ghiță chose to put all his influence and financial and media resources in the interests of Victor Ponta. He staked everything on a card against Coldea and lost!
Florian Coldea had chosen another side and was going to be an important player in the 2014 presidential election economy. I could say he was the most important institutional player, if I wouldn't be afraid of big words!
Only that with this period, which actually begins with the nomination of Victor Ponta as Prime Minister, with the close relationship between politics and intelligence, with the peak of the Operation, "We Are the State!", I will deal in the future episode.
The question I tried to give an answer today was: Is Sebastian Ghiță a creation, but at the same time a victim of the system of force?
My answer is YES, but each of you can read and judge for yourself!