The Rise Project journalists have published on Monday the first information regarding the Teleorman leaks investigation.
A suitcase with documents belonging to Tel Drum company was allegedly found by a villagers on a field in Teleorman County. The documents could point to major information from inside the firm, information that the anti-corruption directorate had not found when they searched the office last year in the file that also targets PSD leader Liviu Dragnea. The case is related to corruption charges at the time when Liviu Dragnea was the chairman of the Teleorman County Council.
On Monday, minutes after the information were posted, the Rise Project website was blocked and could not be accessed, ziare.com reports.
Journalists say there is a connection between the moment when the suitcase had been ‘wrapped’ and the DNA searches at Tel Drum in the summer of 2017.
“The suitcase includes everything the Dragnea group wanted to hide away from the prosecutors in 2017, in the file in which the governing party chairman is charged with initiating an organized criminal group. The information is archived on three digital supports, most of them in electronic format. The most recent ones were saved on June 26, 2017. On August 4, the prosecutors conducted searches at Tel Drum,” Rise Project’s feature reads.
The black hard-disk found in the suitcase allegedly belongs to the group’s accountant, Nicoleta Pene, the right hand of former Tel Drum Director General, Petre Pitis, the journalists say.
One of the employees said in 2015: “Nicoleta Pene’s ascension is almost fantastic. She was nobody when she arrived at Tel Drum, but was appointed chief of the financial-accountancy department. In several months Mrs. Ignat left and Nicoleta Pene is now Commercial Director and, at the same table with Petre Pitis, she makes the rules,” Rise Project informs, adding that the information on the black hard-disk are the ones from her computer at the office.
Husband of former CSM president received money
Rise Project published on Monday also a tally-sheet showing that lawyer Gil Vasile, the husband of the then CSM President Simona Marcu, had received a cheque from Tel Drum worth RON 15,200.
“Through the tally-sheet we’ve found Gil Vasile, the husband of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) President, Simona Camelia Marcu. He is a lawyer specialized in commercial issues, does not plead in court, has an office in Bucharest and properties in Teleorman County. The cheque is worth RON 15,200 and was issued by the corporation in September 2015, under the signature of Petre Pitiş,” the investigation site reads.
At that time, his wife, Simona Marcu, was judge with the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court). On January 5, 2018, she was elected the CSM President.
“Publicly, judge Marcu has distinguished herself by two notable interventions: she asked for the investigation of the Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar, as a result of his statements against Emergency Ordinance 13 and she has supported the laws of justice in the form proposed by PSD,” the Rise Project says.
The documents and e-mails reveal barters and discretionary appointments in public offices. Nicoleta Pene’s husband, Dacian, was mechanical director with Tel Drum until 2014, then he was appointed as chief of the Teleorman Romanian Auto Registry. Then he was moved to the State Inspectorate for Road Transport, regional chief over six counties – Arges, Buzau, Dambovita, Giurgiu, Prahova and Teleorman.
“Business and administration intertwined, monopolized by these people. Petre Pitis was also County Counselor. The same for Marian Fiscuci, former high-school colleague of Liviu Dragnea, on whose name the company (Tel Drum) was initially privatized. Adrian Simionescu, former Deputy, is systematically included in the information leaks, as he formally works with the group. Simionescu and Fiscuci are brothers in law. All three of them are defendants along with Dragnea in the same file,” Rise Project informs.
Black lists with #rezist protesters in Teleorman
The black hard disk mentioned above includes images with the protest against ‘the parallel state’ and President Klaus Iohannis. She had monitored the Facebook pages of those from Alexandria taking part to the event or those who have supported the #rezist protests against PSD-ALDE.
Accountant’s mother – minority shareholder in close company
The same source informs that Nicoleta Pene’s mother, Florentina Biolan, has become minority shareholder with a company conducting transactions with Tel Drum.
“In one week of June 2016, the pensioner visited the bank with cash. Overall, she deposited to the bank RON 150,000 and the next month she paid RON 120,000 to an insurance broker (Accentasig) in Ramnicu Sarat. The rest of the money, RON 30,000, went to her daughter, Nicoleta, but the cash deposits continued to take place in 2016,” the source informs.
Thus, RON 50,000 in November and December.
“The insurance company is owned by Mugurel Gheorghias, 54, longtime friend of Liviu Dragnea and the father of the Romanian Consul General in Torino. He is called ‘the snail’ from the times of college, when he sang rock ballads with the PSD chair and another colleague, ‘Sobo’ aka Liviu Dobrescu. After many years, the two have become main shareholders of Tel Drum in Teleorman. ‘The snail’ was administrator of the company in 2011. In 2011, Gheorghias has given up the shares at the bearer to Petre Pitis. The properties in Brazil remain on his name,” the Rise Project journalists also say.
According to the first information released on Sunday the suitcase discovered on the field reportedly contains a tablet that could have belonged to Tel Drum general manager, Petre Pitis. A notebook with 980 phone numbers has been also found, as well as a list of over 54,000 e-mails. The name of Liviu Dragnea appears as spelled in capital letters.
The documents also include the layouts of some large properties in Alexandria, a city in Teleorman County, as well as personal family documents, such as the baccalaureate diploma of Valentin Dragnea, Liviu Dragnea’s son.
The EUR 14,500 kitchen garden in Alexandria and a huge 1,000sqm villa in Mamaia resort
The documents released by Rise Project also reveal details about one of the investments made by TelDrum at Liviu Dragnea’s house in Alexandria: in the kitchen garden more precisely. A constructions company from Bucharest, which boasted as having „expertize in revamping works in Parliament and BNR”, has managed the rehabilitation of Dragnea’s residence.
„The company from Bucharest (Mcomob Service), has asked EUR 14,518 to solve the kitchen garden. The offer is accompanied by eloquent schemes. Total luxury, soft colors, classic lines, American style, cutting-edge household appliances, artistically integrated in the solid wood furniture. The wall with the grill costs EUR 2,100, the cooker wall costs EUR 5,800”, Rise Project journalists wrote.
The reporters also say that „ the red clipboard” found in the suitcase also contained „five A3 sheets with a pharaoh-like project” of a villa in Mamaia seaside resort. It was a five-floor villa, stretching on 1,015sqm.
„There was even the room of the butler envisaged, a 11.63sqm room, pretty muck like a normal bedroom in a communist block of flats. The man had to clean 13 rooms, 12 bathrooms, 4 kitchens, etc”, the article says.
Dragnea, face to face to a Rise Project reporter
A Rise Project journalist attended the press conference held at te end of the PSD’s CexN meeting in Parliament, and he asked Liviu Dragnea, among others, if he had asked TelDrum to pay for his windows, floor, marble and the bar in his house and how he explained the fact that TelDrum „is paying his son’s monthly bills”.
„There are some state institutions, DNA, your friends, that I think must investigate and answer these questions. I have nothing to do with that suitcase, pictures of me are thousands across the country. I don’t know where people keep the pictures, maybe on the tablet, others under their pillow. I have no idea, I am not interested where the photos are taken, how they got there. TelDrum or other company has not paid anything to me for none of my properties,” Dragnea said.
„In your suitcase, there were some documents right from our website. Sometimes you like Rise Project, sometimes you don’t,” the journalists further asked.
„I like Rise Project all the time”, Dragnea ironically replied.
As for the documents in the suitcase found in Teleorman, Dragnea said they might have come from DNA to reach Teleorman and then Rise Project. „This theory also appeared. But I don’t think someone from DNA could have done such a thing”, he went on on the same ironic note. „Of course, they don’t have the time all irregularities that Iohannis and his acquaintances has committed, but they will investigate those ones”.