The Romanian judicial authorities have admitted that, one month ago, the British investigators asked them to cooperate for the investigation of the "frigate errand". The Georges, arrested in London, have cashed in only one of the 7 million pounds offered as bribe in the purchasing of the battle-ships. The other six millions are being looked for in the bank accounts of several Romanian politicians.The Romanian authorities have confirmed yesterday the corruption deal that took place between Bucharest and London. The Police and the Prosecutorsâ Office have admitted to have received the request for judicial assistance from Great Britain which concerns a great corruption case regarding the purchase of the "King Ferdinand" and "queen Mary" frigates.
However, Goergeâs relations to Romania donât stop at only one company. The Georges have two companies Rom-Air and Rom-Car, which were inaugurated in England in the early 80s. In this context, we have to say that BAE Systems had some deals with Ceausescuâs Government in the same period. As a total, the BAE-Ceausescu deals have reached the impressive sum of 1.7 billion USD. One of the contracts, with a total value of 400 million USD, targeted the Romanian production of the BAC 111 plane, which the Romanians have named ROMBAC.
Iliescu: "This Has Nothing to Do with the Presidential Administration"
The former Romanian President, Ion Iliescu, has stated yesterday that the presidential administration didnât have anything to do with this purchase, which seemed profitable for Romania at that moment in time. "The fleet did not have anything left, all the ships were old and it seemed a profitable technical solution for the Romanian Army and Marine", Iliescu explained. The former President explained he had seen the ship at the docks, and the Presidential Administration did not interfere with the negotiations. His Defense Adviser, Ioan Talpes, doesnât have anything to do with this either because, according to Iliescu, at that time "the advisers and the Presidential Administration did not interfere with such things". Therefore, "there is no way Talpes is involved", Iliescu concludes and adds: "maybe he did it to be informed, because the Governmental institutions are the only ones that take care of these things" Iliescu said that the questions should go to "the Adrian Nastase Government and the present Government that have all the documents". NO COMMENT!. Jurnalul National asked former Presidential adviser Ioan Talpes to answer some questions, but refused making any comments. "I have a problem with Jurnalul National and I wonât comment anything for you", was Iona Talpesâs only comment. Afterwards, Ioan Talpes made a statement to PRO TV, where he denied the fact he had taken part in the negotiations, but he admitted he supported the buying of the two frigates. On the other hand, the former Presidential adviser talks now about an errand that should go to the company that mediates the contract. "I donât know if there is an errand. In exchange, I know that, usually, there is a company that mediates, that takes care of the negotiations and that receives an errand established legally", Talpes said. HEARING AT THE COMMISSION. The former SDP Deputy Razvan Ionescu, the President of the Chamber Defense Commission, stated for us that in the spring of 2004, from some articles in the press, the commission set-up a hearing regarding the frigates deal. Ionescu stated that, at that time, there were no suspicions concerning the bribe or the consultant of the BAE Systems, Barry George. The discussions at the commission, where the representatives of the Defense Ministry, the ones of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the ones of BAE Systems focused on the suspicions regarding the fact that Romania wouldnât have been able to satisfy its part of the deal. "Because it was an offset contract, Romania was supposed to give in return for a sum of money certain products. However, the English part didnât find any products in our offer that it could use". Ionescu added that the hearings also targeted the delays of the contract and the old technique of the frigates. "Barry George took part in the negotiations as well. I know him very well and I personally asked him to announce the ones at BAE Systems to show up at the Commission, because I knew he was the main adviser of the deal. It was almost official that he was a consultant. I cannot tell you the sum he earned by doing this. He probably had a consulting agreement of 1%, and there are no secret errands in such contracts and he couldnât have been bribed", Ionescu said. As for the arresting of George, Ionescu did not comment because he did not know anything about the "clues" of the British authorities. THE NAD DATA. Participant in the Reunion of the North-Atlantic Council at the NATO headquarters, the Defense Minister, Teodor Atanasiu, stated for Jurnalul National: "It is quite clear that the Ministry of Defense has been involved in the takeover of the frigates. Romtehnica has been the Ministry of Defense representative for this, and the Government signed the papers. I will not start an internal investigation regarding this, because I am sure that NAD has more data that it let fall. Now, as far as the frigates are concerned, we are negotiating with the British for the maintenance agreement".