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Ion Iliescu for Der Spiegel: I approved CIA request for location in Romania

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Ion Iliescu said, in an interview granted to Der Spiegel, that he approved “in principle” over 2002-2003, a request made by the USA to set up a CIA center in Romania, but he did not know it was a unit meant for detention. Details of the project were established by Ioan Talpes, the head of the presidential Administration, Der Spiegel writes.

Over 2002-2003, the US made Romania a request to host a CIA center.

Ion Iliescu said he had approved only “a location”for CIA, without knowing anything about a special detention center.

“I considered a gesture of accommodation before our accession to NATO, “Iliescu who was president between 22 December 1989-1992, 1992-1996 and 2000-2004, explained.

“We did not have any interference in the activities carried out by the US in that location,” the former president explained. “At that moment, the request did not seem a big thing. We were allies, I did not get into details. If I had known what could be done there, the answer would have been negative, “ Iliescu pointed out.

The former head of the presidential Administration, Ioan Talpes, confirmed Ion Iliescu’s statement about the CIA location, explaining that he offered a location in Bucharest which was used between 2003 and 2006 and that Romanian authorities did not know anything about the activities carried out by the Americans.

Ioan Talpes, who in 2003 was head of the presidential Admnistration and of the presidential Department for National Security, confirmed that Ion Iliescu had given him a “free hand” to offer a location to the CIA.

Talpes said the location was offered in Bucharest and that it does no longer exist at present.

The US Senate presented on December 9, 2014, the public version of the report about interrogation techniques used by the CIA. According to the document, CIA used “brutal”, often “inefficient”methods to interrogate suspects of terrorism, constantly deceiving the US President and COngress about the information obtained. The public version of the report elaborated by the Senate Intelligence Commission includes classified data, including the name of countries which hosted secret CIA prisons. According to sources quoted by the Washington Post, the coed name of the detention center built by CIA in Romania was “Black”. Poland is “Blue”, Lithuania “Purple”and Thailand “Green”. Starting from this information, the document shows that CIA signed in 2002 an accord with a top decision making institution in Romania (unidentified in the public version of the document) to host a secret CIA prison. Funds offered for the construction of the center amounted of millions of dollars.

According to the report, CIA had not inform the Department of STate about the secret prison in Romania and the US ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest classified the situation as “unacceptable”, and asked for clarifications and assurances that brutal interrogation techniques would no longer be used.

After the publication of the US Senate report, the Foreign Ministry pointed out on December 16, 2014 that Romanian authorities did not have evidence referring to the CIA detention center or about actions carried out by the Agency in Romania, but could not ignore the accusations made and was ready to help clear them up.

A Council of Europe report presented in 2006 confirms the existence of a secret detention center in Romania, as part of the CIA “extraordinary extradition” program concerning suspects of terrorism. In December 2011, Amnesty International asked Romania to reopen the investigation on the CIA detention center when the international press revealed that the prison had been in Bucharest. In October 2013, the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking Romanian authorities to begin an independent, impartial, detailed and efficient investigation on Romania’s involvement in the CIA prison program. Premier Victor Ponta declared that Romanian authorities would study the EP resolution and would do everything normal at European or international levels.

Accusations about the use by the USA of EU member states, including Romania, Poland and Lithuania for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners were investigated by the temporary EP commission set up in 2006. Since then, MPs have repeatedly asked for detailed investigations about the collaboration of EU member states with the CIA secret detention and extraordinary extradition program.

In Romania there was a parliamentary investigation on the matter set up in December 2005, following the information that the Romanian air space had been crossed by CIA planes which transported prisoners who were then tortured in special centers set up in Romania. The investigation established that there had not been any CIA prisons in ROmania.

The chairman of the parliamentary commission on CIA prisons, senator Norica Nicolai, declared in June 2006 that there were obvious data proving that American military planes had landed on Romanian airports only for technical reasons and that in Romania there were not any prisons for people terrorism suspects.

Nicolai - Iliescu confirms justified collaboration between services after 9/11

European MP Norica Nicolai declared on Thursday, that the statement of former president Ion Iliescu that CIA centers had existed in Romania confirms a collaboration between intelligence services, fully justified because we were after the 9/11 attacks.

On the other hand, Nicolai said that conclusions of the parliamentary commission he had been a head of in 2006 that there was no proof showing that a CIA detention center had functioned in Romania, were still in force.

Romanian authorities should be asked whether a CIA center had ever existed, Nicolai added.



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