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CIA prisons in Romania? Former SRI chief George Maior contradicts Iliescu

The former head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior, contradicts former President Ion Iliescu on CIA detention centres located in Romania, ziare.com reports.

“I do not know the context in which the former president gave the interview and whether there his statements were taken out of the context. No such special centres were approved in Romania, on which international discussions are going on. The CSAT approved in cooperation platforms for our security and for the US,” said Maior in an interview granted to newspaper ‘Adevarul’.

Maior believes Ion Iliescu “was misinterpreted or his statement was taken out of the context”.

“We should talk calmer, especially in a sensitive context of Romania’s state security. Such statements may increase the degree of risk in terms of the terrorist threat. The world reads and sees such statements. I’d say, from the position citizen, let those who talk be more reserved. September 11 had just taken place and we had engaged in the coalition, which is not just a military engagement, but instead, a more serious one in terms of quality of information in this area. There is no official report in which Romania is mentioned, there are only press reports. I would recommend more restraint sometimes. Perhaps Mr. Iliescu had no intention to make such a statement. I hope so! The reality is the one I’ve told you about,” said the former SRI head.

Former President Ion Iliescu told Der Spiegel he had approved “in principle” in 2003, a US request to set up a CIA centre in Romania, without knowing that it would be a facility for detention, details being known by Ioan Talpe?, head of the presidential Administration at the time.

 “American allies have asked us to provide a location,” says Ion Iliescu in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, explaining that he had approved the request “in principle”, details being set by Ioan Talpe?, who was director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) and then was head of the Presidential Administration and Head of the Presidential National Security Department. Ion Iliescu said that he approved only a “location” for the CIA, without knowledge that it was some special centre for detention.

Talpes, who had been SIE head during 1992-1997, admitted last year, also for Der Spiegel, as the first Romanian officer admitting to the issue, that the CIA had in Romania a “transit centre”.

PM Ponta: As Prime Minister, I had no information. If the prisons existed before, I don’t know

 

Prime Minister Victor Ponta says that in the three years leading the government, he had no information about the existence of CIA prisons or facilities in Romania and he is not aware of what happened in the previous period, because then he didn’t have high state responsibilities.

“In three years, I have never had information about the existence of prisons or facilities. If the prisons existed before, I don’t know,” said Ponta.

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