Romania: 2 arrested over prosecutor intimidation

AP News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2016 1:49 PM
Romania: 2 arrested over prosecutor intimidation

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Two men who work for an Israeli company have been arrested in Romania on suspicion that they set up a criminal group to harass and intimidate the country's chief anti-corruption prosecutor, authorities said Wednesday.

The organized crime prosecutors' office, a separate agency, said that the suspects are employees of a private Israeli intelligence company called Black Cube. They are suspected of hacking the emails of people close to anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, and of threatening and harassing family members and others close to her.

The office said that the suspected activity took place in March, but didn't say why the suspects would have tried to intimidate the prosecutor. Kovesi confirmed that there had been "an unsuccessful attempt" to intimidate her but did not elaborate.

The two men, whom prosecutors identified as Ron Weiner, an Israeli citizen, and David Geclowicz, who Black Cube said was Belgian, were arrested April 3.

Black Cube said in a statement to The Associated Press that it undertook a project "to collect evidence of serious corruption in the Romanian government and its agencies." It said two of its employees were arrested "after having made significant discoveries," but did not elaborate.

The statement added that "when undertaking any international activity, Black Cube works closely with professional legal counsel from each jurisdiction visited." It said that the allegations against the two men were "unfounded and untrue."

Kovesi, known for her tough approach to high-level corruption, was appointed last month for a second term as Romania's chief anti-graft prosecutor. She has held the position since 2013.

In 2015, her agency prosecuted 1,250 cases, with targets including a former prime minister and five former ministers.

Meir Dagan, a former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency who died last month, was the honorary president of Black Cube.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the company says one of the men arrested is Belgian.

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Daniella Chelsow in Jerusalem, Israel contributed to this report.