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The press office of the Albanian prime minister attacked the Romanian media, BIRN analysis: Florian Coldea comes to his defense, a person under investigation since May

The press office of the Albanian prime minister attacked the Romanian media,

One of the external advisers of Prime Minister Edi Rama, the former first deputy director of Romania's secret service, Florian Coldea, is being investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate in Romania for corruption.

Coldea was taken under investigation on May 24 and based on the notification to the Romanian prosecutor's office, it is accused that together with 2 other people "asked a businessman (the complainant) for the sum of 700,000 euros plus VAT, in return for which they let him believe that he would influence some magistrates in some courts and that he would cause them to give decisions favorable to the accuser in a criminal case in which he was being tried” (Press Release).


Prosecutors in Romania have not identified Coldean, but media there have identified him as one of the accused. A measure was taken against Coldeas to prevent him from leaving Romania, while according to the prosecutor's office, out of the 700,000 dollars requested, only 100,000 had been transferred.

But when asked by BIRN, the Media and Information Agency under the Albanian government defended Coldea and attacked the accuser. According to the MIA, the complainant is the owner of a television station who was convicted of corruption. "He is a person convicted of corruption in Romania and currently there is another open process for corruption", says the MIA's response.

In the answer, it is not clarified when Coldea started working for Prime Minister Rama, nor if he continues to have this position, but he is praised for "providing valuable help with his advice for strengthening security institutions".

According to a document published by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Coldea was an adviser to Prime Minister Edi Rama in 2023. Berisha, who is currently under house arrest, accused Rama of suspicious ties with Coldea and called them "the Romanian McGonigal ”, referring to the case of the former FBI agent who is accused of taking money from Rama's Albanian government to lobby against the opposition.

Berisha also repeated the Romanian media's accusations that Coldea had ties to Mexican mafia clans. "Today, the Romanian press is all about Edi Rama and Sinaloa. Will we continue to accept this prime minister", he said in one of the appearances before a group of supporters.

Among other things, the media in Romania have also published photos between Coldea and Dorian Ducka, another adviser to Prime Minister Rama. Ducka, former deputy minister of the Albanian government, was also mentioned in the FBI investigation in the case of former agent Charles McGonigal, who was sentenced to 2 years in prison for receiving 225 thousand dollars from a former employee of the Albanian information services. In Albania, the prime minister has been accused by the opposition of paying McGonigal to attack the Democratic Party and the opposition.

In the response to BIRN, the prime minister denied and ironized the accusations about Coldea's connections with drug trafficking cartels. "Yes, we are used to these shows and we have no concern about the nonsense that connects Mr. Coldea's role as an external advisor with the Mexican telenovela of Tirana's political and media sewage channel that has recently been poured into the media cup Romanian", says the reaction.

Meanwhile, according to the National Press Agency in Romania Agerpress, the current Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu expressed concern that Coldea, after working in the Romanian intelligence service, had worked as a consultant for a third party. The Prime Minister of Romania is quoted as having promised legal changes to prevent similar situations.

For its part, MIA did not respond to BIRN's question whether this constituted a concern for the country's security. In response, it is emphasized that Coldea had worked as a consultant for several governments and is praised as a "key factor in the transition of SRI from the Communist Secret Service to one of the most prestigious intelligence services in Eastern Europe and NATO"./Reporter.al

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