Foreign media reported about an alleged fake photo posted on Facebook by former deputy PM and ex-Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea, featuring him shaking hands with former US President Barack Obama during a visit paid by a Romanian delegation headed by former President Traian Basescu in the United States in 2011.
Euronews reported that Oprea would have faked a photo during that visit, as the official picture taken by Romania’s embassy in the U.S. features former President Basescu shaking hands with Barack Obama, and not Oprea.
In his Facebook post, Oprea mentioned the efforts that he took to strengthen the ties between Romania and United States.
“Facebook users were quick to spot the alleged fake handshake, pointing to the unnatural position Oprea is holding his arm while looking away from Barack Obama. It also appears that the alleged photo manipulation has made the politician look slimmer,” reads the Euronews report.
In retort, Oprea told Euronews that he had attended that visit to the White House, together with ex-President Traian Basescu and with Bogdan Aurescu, ex-secretary of state within the Romanian Foreign Ministry and that the photo with him shaking hands with Obama is real and had been given to him.
“In that room president Obama shook hands with Basescu, me and Aurescu! I’m neither a photographer nor am I able to falsify photos. This photo has been given to me. This is the truth,” Oprea said.
The journalists from Euronews also remind that Oprea had been amid scandal over plagiarizing his PhD thesis.
Former President Traian Basescu has also retorted, slamming Oprea for “his fake” and saying this is the way Oprea intends to get back into politics.
“You, poor thing. Professor doctor, general Gabriel Oprea, he is really gone bad if for image (without cover) he is faking photos of my meeting with Barack Obama. I understand that fraud is the signal of his relaunching into politics, but it seems the fraud has been also the sign under which he, the great PhD theses adviser, has built his entire life,” Basescu posted on Facebook.