Update – Ex-intelligence head Florian Coldea heard by the SRI committee for 8 hours, refused to answer questions about the SRI’s alleged control on the judiciary

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The former deputy director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Florian Coldea, came to the Parliament on Tuesday to be heard in the committee on SRI control. The hearing has been initially scheduled for last week, but it was delayed to the former intelligence head’s medical problems.

I came out of respect for the Romanian Parliament, as it is a fundamental institution of the Romanian state, to answer all questions addressed by the committee, as I have always done,” Coldea said before entering the hearing.

All in all, the hearing lasted eight hours, with Coldea stating in the end that all actions that he has taken led to a safe state and a modern intelligence service. He refused though to answer any question related to the alleged control of the SRI over the judiciary, its involvement in criminal records, to the undercover agents in the media and in the justice or related to the relations he had with various politicians.

I don’t understand this term (editor note: the parallel state), but I can refer only to the vertical state, a strong and protective state in Romania’s service and where special efforts have been made for the rule of law (…) Other institutions and people have joined these efforts, some of these people are redefining the state now, for various reasons. I warn that, although I understand the attraction for mystery, stories with spies, as well as some people’s frustration and need to make up guilts, these actions risk turning in a witch-hunt,” Coldea said.

According to the SRI committee chairman, Claudiu Manda, part of Coldea’s answers were like “I don’t confirm, I don’t exclude”.

Florian Coldea refused to answer the journalists’ questions either, just announcing he will come back for hearings in the committee if it’s necessary.

Florian Coldea, the former deputy director of SRI, should have been heard last week, but the hearing was postponed for Tuesday, March 13, after Coldea announced he had caught a cold.

Florian Coldea was released from office and placed on reserve upon his request in January amid scandal of the video footages released by runaway defendant Sebastian Ghita. The former PSD deputy and businessman claimed that Florian Coldea was officer of a foreign intelligence service, while disclosing their close friendship in the past years. Ghita claimed that his family and Coldea’s used to go on vacation in exotic destinations.

Coldea used to be no.2 in the SRI for 12 years, being considered “the power broker” in the service.

However, even after his resignation, a former intelligence officer, Daniel Dragomir, investigated in the Black Cube file, who resigned from SRI in 2013, also went public and made allegations against Coldea and DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi and about the alleged SRI’s involvement in the judiciary.

The former deputy head of the SRI director, Florian Coldea has refuted information revealed by ex-intelligence officer Daniel Dragomir, who said that anti-corruption indictments were actually made by the services’ agents.

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