Ukrainian Military Attaché In Bucharest, Expelled

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Regnum news agency quoted by ‘Gandul’ daily yesterday stated the military attaché of the Ukrainian Embassy to Bucharest had been declared ‘persona non-grata’ and expelled by the Romanian State.

It is not known yet if the person is Anatoliy Yatseniuk, Defence and Naval Attaché, or Serghii Ilnitskii, Military Attaché. The connection of the two scandals refers to the secret information sold by Bulgarian citizen Zikolov Marinov and ending up with a Ukrainian official in Romania.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice yesterday postponed the hearing of the appeal made by Defence Ministry (MoD) non-commissioned officer Floricel Achim and by the foreign citizens who have been remanded to custody awaiting trial on charges of treason by transmission of secret information and espionage. The case has been postponed because the other defendant, the Bulgarian citizen Marinov Zikolov, had no defender. Mediafax informs that Floricel Achim has admitted to the offence in the Bucharest Court of Appeal that issued his preventive arrest warrant. The defendant said he had committed the offences ‘because of his precarious economic circumstances.’

According to the on-line edition of ‘Gandul’ daily, Marinov Zikolov said he was a friend of a representative of Ukraine in Bucharest, who had expressed interest in military information for which he was ‘paying’ between USD 800 and 1,000. Floricel Achim and Marinov Zikolov were meeting in public places to exchange the ‘goods’ - military documents Achim would supply to Zikolov.

The documents were on military communications systems, radar frequencies, NATO standard maps, schemes and maps of military sub-units and techniques, military unit indicatives and defence plans. Mediafax quotes the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dragovest Goranov, stating that the Bulgarian citizen arrested in Romania for espionage does not work for any official institution.

The Ministry of Defence says it has started an official investigation at the unit where Achim has been working to establish the circumstances of the leakage of military information, according to Realitatea TV. The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) says, according to Mediafax news agency, that Marinov Zikolov was operating in Romania as an intelligence agent for a foreign special service. According to the same source, the two were rewarded with various sums in foreign currencies for their activity, in keeping with the importance of the documents supplied.

The Romanian NCO and the Bulgarian national have been remanded to custody for an initial period of 29 days, during the investigations conducted by the prosecutors with the Organised Crime and Terrorism Investigating Directorate (DIICOT) for treason by transmission of secret information and espionage. DIICOT explained that, after processing the data through a complex liaison system, Marinov Zikolov was sending it to representatives of a non NATO state.

‘Our investigations show that the motivation of the criminal activity was material gain as various sums of money. Defendant Zikolov was regularly rewarding defendant Achim using the amounts obtained for the information transmitted,’ DIICOT states, according to Agerpres. The two defendants were taken before the Bucharest Court of Appeal on Saturday, with the proposal of preventive remand in custody for 29 days.

Basescu meets Boc on espionage case

President Traian Basescu and Prime-Minister Emil Boc met up at Cotroceni Palace, on Monday, to discuss the case involving the Defence Ministry NCO who had been arrested on charges of treason and espionage. Another subject was the Brussels informal meeting on the economic crisis, Mediafax informs.

Source: Nine O'Clock