The Wednesday press diversifies the front page topics, but still keeps a critical eye on the story of president Basescu’s allegedly being a former collaborator of the communist secret militia. The Romanian president has been boycotted by some MPs, Romanian euro-observers in the European Parliament, who refused to meet him yesterday, the media says.
Dinu Patriciu, the head of Rompetrol, is also the main character in some newspapers today following the Monday Court decision to be judged at large, while some telephone recordings prove that Patriciu might be guilty of one of the charges he has been brought – the manipulation of the stock market.
The story of CIA planes with terrorists aboard that landed on Romanian airports makes a comeback in EVZ.
EVZ dedicates a front page generous space to a journalistic investigation carried out by the EVZ reporters which reveals that ten CIA planes, allegedly carrying terrorists aboard, landed on four Romanian airports between 2003 and 2005: Timisoara-Giarmata, Bucuresti-Baneasa, Bucuresti-Otopeni and Mihail Kogalniceanu-Constanta.
The process called "rendition" entailed the transfer of top terrorist figures to secret detention centres across the world, where the Americans had military bases, for thorough investigations that NGOs label as "torture". Romania might have been such center or just a connection point.
The topic sparked a lot of criticism towards the end of last year and an investigation was carried out by the Council of Europe to find out which European countries might have hosted American detention centers.
EVZ published yesterday some phone recordings of Rompetrol head Dinu Patriciu talking to brokers, lawyers, close business partners and friends, regarding a "Winning scheme" on which the daily elaborates in today’s edition.
Patriciu allegedly bought at a lower price one billion Rompetrol shares and sold them to a much higher price employing an intermediate company in Cyprus, headed by Rompetrol fellow manager Collin Heart. The shares were sold to some of Patriciu acquaintances at a reasonable price and the rest sold back to Rompetrol by the Cypriot company at a six times higher value.
The trade brought Patriciu and associates 6 mln US dollars, money transferred to Cyprus. The prosecutors accuse Patriciu of manipulating the stock market with the help of some brokers.
Cotidianul traced the voices of the phone conversations and tried to ask for their feedback regarding the information published in the media. Most of them, including Dinu Patriciu, refused to comment and one of the key brokers was unreachable, after leaving the brokerage company one day before an arrest mandate for Dinu Patriciu was released.
Regarding president Basescu’s youth years’ collaboration with the former Securitate, the daily continues to hint that the information revealing the story has leaked from the Defense Ministry (MApN) headed by Liberal Theodor Atanasiu. Atanasiu blames the electoral campaign in 2004 when the documents might have been "taken out" of the MApN.
The then Defense minister Ioan Mircea Pascu says that at the time the documents were written to serve a label trial for Traian Basescu against Mugur Ciuvica, the ministry was managed by his deputy state secretary George Cristian Maior. However, Maior believes the leak is recent and recommends Atanasiu to undergo an investigation in this regard.
Adevarul accuses Romanian president Basescu of having lied when stating recently in a TV show that no Democratic minister has put his signature on the sale of 7 percent of the Lottery shares. The daily has found that deputy PM Ghorghe Pogea, member of the Democratic Party, is one of the co-signatories of the contract.
With Traian Basescu still on the spotlight, Romania Libera writes about the refusal of some EU observers, Romanian PMs, to meet with the president yesterday. The liberals, except two members, and the Hungarian Union representatives missed the meeting, while the Greater Romania Party euro-observers left the gathering after five minutes.
Adevarul writes that only 11 out of the 35 euro-observers answered president Basescu’s invitation to take part to a meeting at the presidential Cotroceni Palace and to evaluate the PMs’ activity in the European Parliament.
Jurnalul National focuses on the Danube’s rising waters. The Isaccea dam that collapsed two days ago has been fixed in 18 hours, whereas at the river’s entry point into Romania the water debit reached 14,100/second concerning authorities who are en guard for several days.
The hydrologists warned of heavy rains in the coming days that would also affect some other counties than the ones along the Danube riverbank.