A former Romanian intelligence officer sentenced to prison for bribery and setting up organized crime ring targeting the president and the anti-corruption chief has handed himself over to Italian police eight months after he went on the run.
Daniel Dragomir, who was handed a sentence of almost 4 years in June 2020, fled the country before he was sentenced and a European arrest warrant was issued in his name.
Romanian police said the 42-year-old had gone to a police station in Bari, southeast Italy with his lawyer on Wednesday and surrendered to police, News.ro reported. He is currently in custody there pending a court ruling on his extradition.
Romanian police were informed Thursday of the development.
The former intelligence officer was convicted of setting up an organized crime ring using Israeli operatives to compromise Romania’s president, the former anti-corruption chief prosecutor, and the head of the intelligence agency.
The organized crime unit said he had contacted private Israeli intelligence agency Black Cube with the purpose of intimidating and denigrating Laura Codruta Kovesi, then head of the anti-corruption office, whom he considered responsible for his indictment in a corruption case.
The indictment said he incited illegal access to a computer system, incited the unauthorized transfer of computer data, and co-opted the operatives in other illegal operations.
He falsely told the Israelis that the operation, dubbed “Tornado,” was supported by President Klaus Iohannis and Eduard Hellvig, the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service.
In 2016, two Black Cube employees, ex-Mossad agents Ron Weiner and David Geclowicz, were caught trying to hack the email account of Kovesi and her family.
They entered into plea agreements with Romanian prosecutors in this case, and received suspended sentences.
Mr. Dragomir was formerly a lieutenant colonel for the Romanian Intelligence Service. He was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison also for influence peddling and money laundering involving a kickback he took for illegally disclosing information to a businessman.