I actually found this in a Romanian article but in doing further research I managed to find this article in English with essentially the same information. Long story short is that Monica Macovei, heavily backed by Daddy Mark, wants to keep Daniel Morar as head of the DNA (anti-corruption agency) and Laura Kovesi as head of the court system (that handles corruption trials).
But Gitenstein voicing his opinions (which I mentioned yesterday btw) angered some folks, including some in Skeletor’s faction. But here’s the most important bit, buried near the end:
Yesterday, Monica Macovei said Ambassador Gitenstein was entitled to voicing his opinions regarding Morar because the State Department of the USA had ‘financed’ both DIICOT and DNA, therefore he was interested in knowing what happened with the ‘investment’.
Is this true? Did the U.S. government somehow pay for DIICOT (organized crime and terrorism) and the DNA?
Well I spent over an hour digging through all kinds of things looking to see if this could be true. Certainly Daddy Mark has been hammering on Romania to reform its justice system, et al for months in the press. But “moral support” is a long way from cold, hard cash.
Certainly the State Department (the equivalent of America’s MAE) has been giving millions of dollars (PDF) to Romania’s military as part of their overall IMET (military education and training) program. Got it. But Romania is part of NATO and blah, blah these kinds of things are well known and well documented. Financing a domestic agency is something quite different, especially when you have your ambassador claiming he has a right to look after America’s “investment”.
After scouring through everything I could find, in the end it was only Wikileaks which provided any relevant information. From a 2007 cable:
Morar thanked the Ambassador for the Embassy’s attention to the DNA’s anticorruption work and for the training and technical equipment donations (totaling almost $90k for non-wiretapping recording devices) that have made the DNA the first prosecutors’ office in Romania to be able to conduct some modern undercover investigations independent of other institutions such as the police and the domestic intelligence service (SRI).
The Ambassador later toured the DNA’s Technical Services and saw how the DNA has put the equipment to use in conducting undercover operations involving multiple cases of bribery of judicial and public officials involving tens of thousands of dollars. The head of the technical service confirmed such equipment did not help to investigate cases of corruption involving higher amounts of money, as millions of dollars did not change hands in the form of currency, but rather through more complicated banking and real estate transactions. Such high-level corruption investigations were conducted by the DNA’s Section II, responsible for Combating Corruption, and usually involved complex financial analysis.
Morar noted that two DNA prosecutors were currently in the U.S. receiving training from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center on investigating financial crimes thanks to DNA’s permanent contact with Embassy’s RLA. He added that training on investigating financial crimes was crucial to the DNA’s mission and welcomed any additional training the U.S. could provide.
Mind you, that was back in 2007 and 90,000 dollars isn’t that huge of an amount but who knows what kind of equipment, training and other assistance the United States has chipped in since then. Certainly it’s enough that Daddy Mark feels no shame whatsoever in interfering in another country’s internal affairs, via the only woman he “trusts” in Romania (he calls her his mentor). Of course some people think of Macovei as one of those “untouchables”, respected during her term as the Justice Minister (which even I remember). And as a member of the PDL and a Romanian citizen, she can certainly support whom she likes. It’s not her involvement but Gitenstein’s based on buying a spot at the table which concerns me.
But of course we all know that interlocutors have been eating cheese for a long time, running to the American embassy to tell the ambassador everything they know, up to and including President Basescu, so nobody in Romania is going to do anything about Gitenstein’s interference. And no offense to people truly trying to reform Romania’s justice system but Daddy Mark is about the last person who needs to be lecturing Romania on ethics. I just wonder how many of my tax dollars went to buy Romania’s “justice”.