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Opposition and Ruling Parties Take Stances in Hayssam’s Case

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Autor: Aniela Nine Dana Piciu 24 Iul 2006 - 00:00
Opposition and Ruling Parties Take Stances in Hayssam’s Case


The opposition Social Democrat Party, or PSD, Sunday, asked for the intelligence file of Omar Hayssam to be declassified and a parliamentary committee to be set up to investigate his flee out of Romania.

Hayssam was arrested in April last year on economic charges and indicted in October on terrorist charges for he allegedly masterminded the kidnapping in early 2005 of three Romanian journalists in Iraq. In April this year he was released from prison due to medical documents showing he was terminally ill from colon cancer. Authorities discovered last week they were unable to locate Hayssam on Romania’s territory.

PSD president Mircea Geoana said a parliamentary committee looking into the matter was the "healthier way to go, else we run the risk to be left with unanswered questions, if intelligence services and President Traian Basescu will investigate their own performance in this high-profile terrorism case."

The list of questions Geoana said should find their answer with making public Hayssam’s file would be: "was he deliberately left to flee the country after he completed his role, where did he came from, who had he worked with and for, what were his relationships with the intelligence services, what was his real role in the journalists’ kidnapping, which was the last moment the intelligence services kept taps on him?"

The ruling National Liberal Party, or PNL, also proposed a parliamentary committee to be set up to investigate the Hayssam case, after September 1st, when the regular parliamentary session starts.

The Supreme Council for Defense is in session Monday to decide the replacements for the heads of three intelligence services which resigned Thursday in the wake of Hayssam’s flee from Romania.

The PNL said Friday it had its own nominations to make for the intelligence and counterintelligence services, short of making the names public.

While Cezar Preda, of the ruling Democrat Party, or PD, reminded coalition partners that nominating the people for such positions was Basescu’s prerogative. Basescu was PD leader prior to winning presidential elections in fall 2004.

The PSD’s stance on the matter is that all political parties should be consulted prior to making the nominations.

Geoana also asked PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, leader of the PNL, for the party to abort its campaign for collecting citizens’ signatures in support of Romania’s pull out from Iraq.

Geoana labeled the PNL campaign populist, as it was clear the troops"" pullout had large popular support, and asked for the topic to be addressed in Parliament.

A poll of the BCS polling institute found 34% of the respondents thought collecting signatures was important to decide the military pullout; 30% said the Parliament’s decision would matter; 21% showed they wanted a public debate, while 12% asked for a referendum.

When asked about the timing of Romania’s pullout from Iraq, 28% of respondents said troops should come back home immediately; 24% said Romania should pull out at the same time with the US and Great Britain; 19% said the pull out should be completed by yearend, and 14% - by the end of 2007.

Conservative Party leader Dan Voiculescu Sunday said his party would not make any proposals for the new heads of the intelligence services but will give its input in the parliamentary vote.

Voiculescu said PC would support only people with "a wide experience in the intelligence field." He added that Basescu should answer for the consequences of the crisis prompted by the simultaneous resignation of the three intelligence heads, "as he praised these services for the past 18 months."

Translated by Anca Paduraru
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