The Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled that Romania’s former president Traian Basescu collaborated with the Communist secret police – Securitate. The court announced the decision, which is not final, on Friday, September 20. Basescu can file an appeal against this decision, News.ro reported.
Update: "I'll take the Court's verdict as it is. I will challenge it in the upper court," Traian Basescu said for Mediafax newswire. He also spoke with Digi24 news station, saying again what he also claimed in court, that he only had ties with the counterintelligence service when he was very young and that he didn't know this service was also part of the Securitate.
"I feel a sort of bitterness that, after having condemned communism and having declassified the Securitate's archives, I get such a verdict," he said, adding that he never looked into those archives to see if there was any document linking him to the secret police because he knew he neder had illegal ties with the Securitate.
The local institution in charge of studying the archives of the former Securitate – CNSAS asked the court in May to rule whether Basescu collaborated with the Securitate or not, based on new evidence found recently. Since then, the local media has presented several documents related to Basescu’s collaboration with the secret police, including names of those on whom he filed reports to the Securitate under the informant name Petrov, according to News.ro.
Basescu has repeatedly claimed that he hadn’t collaborated with the Securitate, including in the last court hearing, on September 5. He said there was no evidence that he signed a commitment with the secret police in the file with his name on it or in the file’s microfilm. He also argued that there was no document written by him or invoice to prove that he received payment from the Securitate in these files. Thus, he said, there’s no way to demonstrate he was a collaborator. He also denied having given information to the Securitate under the pseudonym Petrov.
CNSAS verified Basescu’s background five times before, in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013 and cleared him each time. However, CNSAS found this year new evidence on Basescu’s ties with the Securitate.
Traian Basescu, 67, graduated from the Naval Institute of Constanța in 1976. He served as a ship captain between 1981 and 1987. In 1989, he was sent to Belgium to head the Navrom Agency in Antwerp.
Basescu entered politics after the Revolution in December 1989, as a member of Ion Iliescu’s National Salvation Front (FSN). He was appointed transport minister in Petre Roman’s cabinet, in April 1991, and held this position until November 1992. He served two more terms as transport minister between 1996 and 2000. In June 2000, he was elected mayor of Bucharest. In December 2004, he was elected president of Romania and he completed two five-year terms in this position after having been suspended twice by the Parliament and being reinstated after popular referendums.
In December 2010, president Traian Basescu held a speech in the Parliament in which he condemned the Communist regime, which he called "an oppressive regime that robbed the Romanian people of five decades of modern history, tramped the law and forced the people live in lie and fear." In his speech, he also condemned the Securitate, "an essential institution in supporting the totalitarian, illegitimate and criminal communist state."
In May 2019, Basescu won a seat in the European Parliament.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / George Calin)
CNSAS, the Romanian institution in charge with studying the archives of the former communist secret police (Securitate),...