The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) has detained Daniel Dragomir, a Romanian citizen accused of corruption, in the case regarding the attempted spying on the head of the anti-graft institution DNA, Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Prosecutors say that Dragomir had asked Israeli intelligence firm BlackCube to gather information about certain people that he wanted to smear because they were behind his prosecution.
According to News.ro, Dragomir is a retired colonel of the domestic intelligence service SRI. He is tried starting January 2015, in a case in which investigators claim he got RON 2 million from a person in exchange for using his influence within the Ministry of Finance and tax authority ANAF. Dragomir worked in the division for preventing and combating terrorism.
Two Israelis that were employed by BlackCube and were involved in the Kovesi operation were placed in preventive arrest, but one of them exited Romania in early April, without any data gathered by his colleagues, after the local authorities caught the two men.
The BlackCube employees were tasked with infiltrating the close circle of Kovesi, including her relatives, to find confidential information about her. The spies were hoping to find compromising stories about the head of the DNA. Some e-mail were hacked, but not Kovesi’s, according to the media. In addition, some of the persons targeted by the agency were contacted by phone.
The operation was called Tornado.
The Romanian is accused of setting up a criminal group and of several IT-related crimes, including the illegal breach of data.
According to HotNews.ro, which cited judicial sources, the contract for the BlackCube operation was worth GBP 900,000 and was signed by Dragomir. However, the journalists at HotNews.ro claim that he was only the interface in the deal, and the money was raised by an influential group of persons that are prosecuted by the DNA.
Shortly after the media reported about the operation against Kovesi, she got a second mandate at the helm of the DNA.