Update: The anti-corruption prosecutors asked the Supreme C0urt to issue an European arrest warrant and an international search warrant against Sebastian Ghita, as he is still gone missing. The request comes after the former deputy was put out an APB.
Former MP Sebastian Ghita, gone missing and put out on APB to be placed under arrest, claims in a new video footage broadcast by Romania TV, the television he owns, that former PM Victor Ponta has been blackmailed by the intelligence general Florian Coldea (former deputy director of the Romanian Intelligence Service) to appoint Laura Codruta Kovesi at the DNA’s helm, by threatening the former PM that he would cancel his scheduled visit to the USA near the presidential elections in 2014, which “would destroy him”.
“Practically, in my presence, Florian Coldea told Ponta that if he didn’t name Kovesi to run the National Anti-corruption Directorate, then the visit he had scheduled in America to meet Biden or Obama would be cancelled. Moreover, Vivtor Ponta was told that the announcement regarding the visit cancelation would be made near the presidential elections and this matter would destroy him,” Ghita said in the latest video footage aired at Romania TV.
The former deputy also claims that he is the one who went together with Elena Udrea to Ponta’s office to discuss Kovesi’s nomination at the DNA’s helm.
Sebastian Ghita explained how he got to this position, saying he used to be friend with general Coldea and with Elena Udrea and through Udrea he “used to have a channel of communication with Traian Basescu”.
As for the alleged friendship with general Coldea, the ex-deputy says that “high-ranking officials in the SRI introduced the general to him in 2008.”
“We were young, we both had small children and we stroke up a friendship relation. We both believed in a better Romania (…) Our children has raised together for seven years,” Ghita stated, adding he won’t release photos of the children for “they have no blame”, while stressing yet that he has proves on the vacations he spent with Coldea.
“This way I met Laura Codruta Kovesi and I became his friend. I was friend of Florian Coldea, of her and of Victor Ponta,” Ghita recounted, saying they have met ‘hundreds of times’ and that they have partied together with the DNA chief prosecutor and that he was with her on the ‘boat bridge that SRI has in the Danube Delta’.
“This is how I ended up being involved in Kovesi’s nomination at the DNA in 2014 (editor note: 2013) What hasn’t been told is that Victor Ponta was blackmailed to name her,” the tycoon claims.
According to Ghita, Victor Ponta would have told him and Elena Udrea that he would name Kovesi although he didn’t trust her.
“I will propose her but I have a bad opinion about Kovesi. I am sure she will follow orders from the outsiders and that she will fabricate files to all of us. You two will be arrested first,” former PM Ponta would have told Ponta and Udrea, according to Ghita.
“He was right”, the former PSD deputy continued, arguing that Kovesi “tried to eliminate from the public life all people who helped her”.
Sebastian Ghita also revealed that the document on Kovesi’s nomination as anti-corruption chief prosecutor was drafted at the Government.
“I witnessed the document’s drafting and I went to the SRI’s villa where Coldea and Ponta were (…) Coldea called Kovesi and told her to immediately come to Bucharest. This is how Laura Codruta Kovesi was named,” Ghita pointed out.
In the end he promised to disclose “new details” on the appointment of the DNA’s deputy chiefs and how ex-PM Ponta was tricked.
The Prosecutor’s Office announced it opened a case on Ghita’s video footages, with sources revealing that the former deputy is to be summoned for hearings. The Prosecutor’s Office’s move comes after media reported “potential interference in the judiciary act” as resulting from the video footage featuring an alleged a dialogue between ex-president Traian Basescu and another person on criminal records.
Later on Friday, the Romanian Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar stated that the persons invoke in the former deputy’s video footages must be heard, while documents and recordings must be seized, arguing that they have been released to the audience in “a tendentious way”. “The footages are presented in a certain way, already suggesting us what we should do. Or, investigations must be non-partisan”, Lazar said.
Ex-president Basescu: Kovesi and Coldea should be arrested
In retort to Ghita’s disclosures, former president Traian Basescu said that the Prosecutor General should arrest the DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi and SRI general Florian Coldea.
“I won’t guarantee anymore for Coldea and Kovesi, while deontologists say that Bescu turned against Justice, no, I turned against some people who got sick with power. I admit, before ending my mandate in 2014 I noticed they were off the track, but these poeple have defintely become a risk for the Romanian state. They have a huge information portfolio that they use for their own interest. I hear now from Ghita that he used to meet Kovesi twice a week, I met her six timed during her two mandates of Prosecutor General and one term as DNA chief prosecutor. (…) I find out that Coldea and the head of the CIA station in Romania also came. Well, don’t we have a Prosecutor General to take them up tonight?