- April 7, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: News Romania, SEE News
Prosecutor is credited with taking on MPs, government ministers and a sitting prime minister.
Two men were arrested in Romania on suspicion of spying on the prosecutor leading the nation’s anti-corruption campaign, it was revealed Wednesday.
The men are employees of Black Cube, a private intelligence company founded and led by two former Israeli intelligence officers, according to investigative journalists at the Rise Project, which looks into crime and corruption cases. The two suspects were detained in Bucharest on Sunday. Authorities allege that they were tasked with harassing the prosecutor, Laura Codruța Kövesi, and people close to her. They hacked into email accounts of three of her friends and family, according to an arrest warrant published by the Rise Project.
Kövesi has been the chief prosecutor of the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate since 2013. She is credited with taking on high-level corruption cases involving mayors, members of parliament, government ministers and former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, while he was in office. Last month, Romanian Justice Minister Raluca Prună proposed Kövesi stay on for a second term at the helm of the directorate. A decision on the proposal is expected by May.
Some politicians have accused Kövesi of using her position to selectively target politicians — accusations she has repeatedly denied. Kövesi told Romanian news agency Mediafax on Wednesday that she is not intimidated by the harassment campaign.
The two men are alleged to have searched email accounts of Kövesi’s friends and family, looking for any incriminating information that could ruin her public image, according to the arrest warrant. David Geclowicz, one of the two suspects, was tasked with calling Kövesi’s friends and family members and obtaining their email addresses. The other suspect, Ron Weiner, would then launch phishing attacks to trick them into logging into fake email accounts, according to the Rise Project report.
Romania and Bulgaria are the top-ranked countries on the corruption scale in the EU. Since the two countries joined the bloc in 2007, they have been part of a corruption monitoring scheme led by the European Commission. Under it, both countries are tasked with reforming their judicial systems and combating corruption.
In February, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker praised Romanian authorities for cracking down on corruption and said the monitoring scheme would be stopped by the end of his mandate, in 2019.
6 April 2016