Top court rules ex-Romanian President Traian Basescu collaborated with Securitate secret police

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Former Romanian President Traian Basescu lost his appeal on Wednesday when the top court ruled that he had collaborated with the Securitate secret police, ending a three-year trial and years of speculation.


The High Court of Cassation and Justice found Mr Basescu, 70, guilty of having acted as an agent of the dreaded communist-era police.

Mr. Basescu was president from 2004 to 2014. He appealed a 2019 court ruling that he’d collaborated with the feared Securitate which spread its tentacles into every corner of society.

Mr Basescu, who served as a captain on commercial ships, admitted sending reports to  military counter-intelligence but claimed it wasn’t the same thing as the Securitate.

Civil rights

Securitate files, however, revealed he submitted handwritten reports where he informed on colleagues and reported instances of  dissent. The court said this made him guilty of violating their civil rights.  Reacting to the verdict, Mr Basescu said he would take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, in a message posted on Facebook.

The ruling means he loses his privileges as a former president such as a grace-and-favor home and state-provided personal security.

The infamous secret police was said to keep tabs on millions of Romanians under Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu with an army of spies.

Legacy of mistrust

Thirty years later, it has left a legacy of mistrust, with few people admitting they worked for it. Many have strenuously denied allegations such as the former president.

Romania still hasn’t properly opened its files, and it’s unclear how many informers operated in offices, on factory floors, in schools, among friends, in all-day queues for milk and bread, and even in families.

The ongoing secrecy has enabled informers and former agents to pursue stellar careers in post-Communist Romania.

Agents exposed

Other former Securitate agents who’ve been exposed in recent years are  central bank governor Mugur Isarescu and well-known journalist Ion Cristoiu.

Wednesday’s court ruling said it “rejected ….  the objection brought by the defendant which is unfounded. “ The ruling is final.

Mr Basescu is currently a European Parliament lawmaker.

Ceausescu’s Securitate. Romania’s dark secrets still able to cause upset 30 years after communism ended




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