Army spies have protected Oprea’s political party

The army’s secret services provided the intelligence security for Gabriel Oprea’s party meetings, according to a former employee. Col. Doru Paraschiv accuses the collusion between the chief of the military spies, General Hăpău, the former Minister of the Interior and certain judges of the Military Court of Appeals. Paraschiv confirms the accusations made by a military judge about his colleagues, Gheorghe Manea and Cezarian Buga, who were under Oprea’s influence. Buga was recently under disciplinary investigation by the Legal Inspection, an institution which refused to accept evidence showing that he directly requested the General Hăpău v. col. Paraschiv case, were the sentence was  pronounced in favor of the first one.

Gabriel Oprea is the subject of several complaints with the DNA, which could destroy his career and freedom. The anticorruption prosecutors had notified the Parliament on the abuse of office related to the former Minister of the Interior’s motorcades. However, this is only one of the potentially criminal acts the current senator and president of the UNRP is accused of. In two memorandums sent to the President’s office and to the MApN, a former employee of the Army General Intelligence Directorate (DGIA) reveals that the counterintelligence for the UNPR meetings has been provided by the above-mentioned institutions, due to the relations between the head of the DGIA, General Marian Hăpău and Gabriel Oprea. Col (r) Doru Paraschiv mentions that Hăpău is „protected by Mr. Gabriel Oprea, to whom he got close while he was the Minister of National Defense”. Paraschiv emphasizes the fact that the personnel of the Military Counterintelligence and Security Directorate (DCISM) participated, both during and outside working hours, to the counterintelligence security of Oprea’s party. The cited source states that he managed to avoid this type of illegal missions after requesting his superiors to give him an order in writing.

The document in which Col. Paraschiv explains how DGIA protected Gabriel Oprea’s political party

Army management is infested with Gabriel Oprea’s people and interests through Generals Marian Hăpău and Cătălin Zisu, the head of the MApN logistics department, according to Paraschiv.”I personally believe that these people and their interests can be exposed, both only from the inside of the institution and by legal means”, adds Paraschiv. The former coordinator of an area unit of the DGIA, he left the army after filing a criminal complaint against his superior, Hăpău, for abuse of office. The complaint was dismissed by military magistrate Cezarian Buga. He got the Paraschiv-Hăpău (493/1/2014) case by violating the procedures of the Military Court of Appeals, a fact also noted by the Legal Inspection. We’ll come back later to this aspect, of which we already wrote here.

A security incident of which nobody had any idea

Col. Paraschiv considers that he is the victim of a setup. He shows that his removal from the DGIA is the result of a series of irregularities and violations of the military and national security procedures. Paraschiv’s access to classified information was withdrawn, without giving him the number of the ORNISS decision (the authority granting access certificates), nor the reason for the issue of the decision. Thus, he was unable to lodge a prior complaint and challenge the decision in court. Subsequently, Paraschiv found out from the courts where he has trials that he is accused of opening “possible channels for leaks of classified information to unauthorized persons”, after allegedly sending information to some judges, by secret correspondence.

Nevertheless, while he was targeted for withdrawing the security certificate, Paraschiv worked unhindered, without any preventive measures taken. He wasn’t requested to write any report or explicative note regarding the violation he was accused of. No committee was appointed – according to MApN regulations – to investigate the security incident and to take appropriate measures. The incident wasn’t recorded as a special event and published in the army’s newsletter. Army regulation require for the Minister of National Defense to be informed within 30 minutes about the occurrence of this type of events related to national security. However, former Minister Dușa had no idea of the incident after six months. Dușa found out from Paraschiv, when he gave him his report.

There’s no need to say that the Romanian President, the CSAT, the Parliament and the SRI were not informed, in compliance with national security regulations. The slightest irregularity is that the spy accused of “defecting” (as they say in specialized language) didn’t even get a fine for violating the regulations on the protection of classified information.

After this chain of events, Col. Paraschiv was retired on January 24th a 2014. On that day Minister Dușa was in Focșani and Iași for Unification day celebrations. Dușa delegated his attributions to State Secretary Otilia Sava, the wife of SRI spokesperson Sorin Sava. We don’t believe that the Sava spouses discuss security incidents at home. But what’s even more interesting is that Otilia Sava is the chief of the UNPR Department for defense. We wonder if during Oprea’s party meetings Ms. Sava recognized the DCSIM agents providing counterintelligence protection. We don’t believe that.

MApN State Secretary Otilia Sava replaced the Minister of Defence on the day when Col. Paraschiv was retired. Otilia Sava is a UNPR leader and the wife of SRI spokesperson Sorin Sava (Source: Facebook Otilia Sava)

The retirement wasn’t the last trial for Col. Paraschiv. Soon after he left the MApN, he got to the point where the bank foreclosed his house, which was quite a circus. One year after his eviction, the authorities were notified that one of the secret documents was among Paraschiv’s bags and baggage. Bag 47 was seized a taken to an unknown location. The location of the bag taken as evidence is still unknown, as well as the truthfulness of the allegations according to which it contained secret documents. In the end, Paraschiv managed to overturn the foreclosure and got his home back, a case which rarely occurs in practice.

After Col. Paraschiv got his foreclosed home back, the mysterious bag 47 could not be returned to the owner

The Directorate for Military Courts is “skipped” for the promotion of generals

In his last complaint filed with the DNA, the former DGIA employee says that judge Cezarian Buga‘s reward for the verdict in favor of General Hăpău was his promotion to the rank of three star general. The same observation is also made in the 2014 report of the Military Court of Appeals (CMA), of which we wrote here.

Beyond Gabriel Oprea’s intervention in their favor, the promotion of military magistrates Buga and Manea has at least one more flaw: their file was not submitted to the Directorate for Military Courts (DINSTMIL). According to DINSTMIL attributions, it ”analyses, centralizes and elaborates the documents needed for the promotion of active officers”. We asked and DINSTMIL answered that ”they hadn’t made any endeavors and had in no way been consulted for the procedures finalized with the promotion of the two military judges”. This indicates that the files of the two military judges were never submitted to the DINSTMIL. If they would have been submitted, this institution would have exercised its above-mentioned attributions. What would be interesting to know is how the promotion files were approved in the country’s Supreme Defense Council, without DINSTMIL consultation and approval.

The Judicial Inspection refuses evidences

We’re coming back to the idea that the litigant generals could only be judged by the two general ranked judges of the CMA who were affiliated with Gabriel Oprea, namely Gheorghe Manea and Cezarian Buga. Only the decisions providing this anomaly had been suppressed following a complaint submitted to the court by a group of revolted judges from the CMA. Moreover, judge Buga was recently replaced in College Board of the Military Court of Appeals. The above-named magistrate was recently under disciplinary investigation by the Judicial Inspection. The Inspection noted that General Hăpău’s case file, although it should had been randomly distributed, it got directly to Buga and that the magistrate did not abstain himself from presiding over a case in which he already had contact with the defendant

The Judicial Inspection closed disciplinary investigation against Buga after the field inspector avoided receiving a piece of evidence essential for the investigation. It was a note entitled “report”, proving that Cezarian Buga asked to get directly General Hăpău case file. The document, handwritten by Buga, was delivered to one of the CMA judges by court clerk Liliana Moise. The note said: ”Today, 19.09.2014, I went with case file 493/1/2014 to Gen. Lt. Mag. Cezarian Buga to dispose”. The document contradicts the 2015 report of the Judicial Inspection, according to which the manual distribution of the case to Buga was done verbally and was caused by confusion. Although the judge who had the incriminating note requested to be interviewed and to deliver the evidence, inspector Teodora Giurcă considered such meeting to be inadvisable. She closed the disciplinary investigation on the very day when the judge requested the meeting. Her report rejects the ex officio notification for the disciplinary investigation and mentions that the delivery of the evidence exceeded the deadline provided by CSM and cannot be taken into account. Consequently, the CMA judge requested the notification of DNA prosecutors against inspector Giurcă for abuse of office, given that she favored the magistrate under disciplinary investigation, Cezarian Buga.

The handwritten note where military judge Cezarian Buga justifies the direct distribution of General Hăpău’s case file

The revolted judge was heard as witness by the DNA, where he declared that Buga has very close ties with former Deputy Prime Minister Oprea, and that he’s a member of his entourage, which also included the head of the DGIA, Gen. Hăpău. He said that other coworkers  from the CMA repeatedly noted that the cases “of interest for the group with occult interests in the system” represented by Gabriel Oprea were manually distributed and favorably settled only by judges Cezarian Buga and Gheorghe Manea. The same source also mentions that Buga was required to abstain from judgment in the case 34/753/2013 involving the defendant col. dr. Iancu Mocanu. Before the notification for Inacu’s investigation, Buga spoke with him on the phone about a patient from whom Iancu subsequently received money for a surgery, amount Buga had knowledge of. The DNA heard Buga as a witness in the case presided by himself. Although he knew he was a part of the panel of judges presiding over the case involving the military doctor, Buga did not recuse himself, and moreover, he met with the patient’s son, whom he prepared for his statement, according to our source.

We await with great anticipation the DNA’s opinion of these incidents in the secret services and justice system.

NOTE: The Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism does not wish to impair the credibility of the Romanian army and considers that the aspects presented in its investigations are not related to the overwhelming majority of MApN employees, who do their duties correctly, with honor and dignity.