Media threat: Romania governing party leader calls for investigation of journalist after publication of info on embassy to Israel
The leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, has called for prosecutors to intervene against a journalist in the case of a secret memorandum on moving Romania's Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Dragnea, who serves as speaker of the House, claimed in a TV show on Sunday night that journalist Dan Tapalaga, from the G4Media.ro website where the information about the memorandum was first published, should be investigated.
"I've heard about that memorandum in public talk, the very day it was adopted, because it is a confidential document. And I'm asking - I've heard from Mr. Dan Tapalaga, the great journalist, G4 or whatever it's called, who published this information that the Government adopted a confidential memorandum with that content - how did he receive that information? The [Romanian Intelligence Service] SRI, the [Special Telecommunication Service] STS - do they have any explanation for this? Isn't this a security incident? Who among government clerks or government members gave that information? Because I didn't have it", Dragnea said in the interview with Romania TV news channel.
Asked wheter an investigation would be done in this case, Dragnea said: "I'm curous, because the government can't do it".
Another news channel, Realitatea TV, reported on its website that when he was later asked whether Dragne would notify the authorities in the case, he said he was notifying them "now". He was also quoted as claiming that the day after the publication of the memo-related information, President Iohannis called PM Viorica Dancila and had no information about the subject before that which was published by Tapalaga.
Following Dragnea's statements, the G4Media.ro website, where that info was first published, pointed out that the report was not published by Tapalaga, but by fellow journalist Cristian Pantazi. The website also provided further background on the issue. The G4Media.ro stated that on Wednesday, April 18, under Pantazi's signature and quoting government sources, it reported exclusively that the government wanted to adopt a decision or memorandum to move the Romanian Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem. It did not publish the text of the official document. G4Media also recalled that the government spokesman that day said he did not have any info about the initiative, while a day later Dragnea confirmed the report by announcing in an interview that the Government had adopted a memorandum "deciding the start of procedures for the effective move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem". â€‹