Due to my comments and opinions against the communist regime, and also due to the fact that my brother was a priest, I was not allowed to attend the courses of the Military Academy or of the Faculty of History. With respect to the Faculty of History, the strict "personnel policy" of that period had an influence on my admission paper, which was low graded with the “help” of the Professor Zoe Petre, the main counsellor of the President of Romania Emil Constantinescu between 1997 and 20001
. I was a member of the Romanian Communist Party. I was not an agent or informant of the Securitate2
. My opinions and comments against the communist regime were well known to the military commanders and officers of the Securitate, who were working in the same units as me. In the summer of the 1986, for example, the commander of the unit – 2nd Mechanized Regiment from Bucharest/ Military unit 01305 (major Gheorghe Carp) – publicly accused me of "inimical attitude towards the leaders of the Party" and threatened me by saying: "we, and also other agencies that must know, are aware of this". Of those present at that time, I remember major Balaci, captain Ghimpu and captain Uţă, both Carp's deputies3
; the Securitate Officer was Captain Marian David (I have met him a couple of times after 1989, by chance, and I have remained under the impression that he still works for the secret services). Also in 1986, I was officially accused, in the annual professional evaluation4
of not having fulfilled my duties – which were outside my official duties and against my wishes, the “political-ideological learning process for warrant officers”5. Because of my attitude towards the communist regime and because I refused to collaborate with the Securitate, in 1987, under the guise of decreasing military expenses at national level, I was relocated from the Bucharest garrison, to an inferior position (commander of a research platoon) in a tank regiment from the Mihai Bravu commune (40 km away from Bucharest). In 1984, I was detached for three months as a "popular assessor" at the Bucharest Military Law Court; these detachments were made at orders, and were similar to the ones of "agricultural labours" or "national economy5
". In the year 1989, I refused the job at the Military Prosecution Office, which was proposed to me by the Military Prosecutor Colonel Virga.
After 1989, and especially during 1990, I campaigned – alongside other young officers, most of them belonging to the Committee of Action for the Democratization of the Army (CADA) – against depoliticising and modernising of the army and for clarifying the involvement of some military leaders, during the revolution, in December 1989, in military acts against the demonstrators. For this reason, together with other three officers, and in agreement with the President Ion Iliescu and the Prime Minister Petre Roman, I was put in reserve by the Minister of Defence, General Stănculescu on the 17th of November 1990. Partakers at the illegal measure taken against me were my hierarchical commanders: Gen. Dumitru Polivanov, Commander of the 1st Army; Lt.Col. Mircea Mureșan, the Commander of the Division 57 Tanks; Cpt. Mihai Nicolescu, the Chief of Staff of the 22 Tanks Regiment. In the subsequent years, the minister Stănculescu said in public, contrary to the truth, that I was put in reserve "on demand" 6. In the spring of 2007, general Stanculescu and another high ranking military officer, general Mihai Chitac, were found guilty, by the Court, of involvement in repressing the revolution from Timisoara, and were sentenced to 15 years in prison and military degradation. Due to the that fact in the anticipation of the meeting of the Civic Alliance on the 15th of November 1990, the battalion of infantry I was part of was to organize a formation that should intervene "in-need", I asked the commander of the unit (22 Tanks Regiment/ Military unit 01046 Bucharest) – through a written report – not to put me in command of such a sub-unit, as he intended. When, during the following years I spoke publicly about this issue, the minister of Defence Victor Babiuc, although he knew what had happened, accused me in the press that I lied7. During 2008, after repeated requests, the archives department of the Ministry of Defence told me that, although listed in the archives, my report from November 1990 (CR 205/5 November 1990) had disappeared8. After several other actions on my part, in September, October and November 2014, the Archives of the Ministry of Defence and Military Prosecutor's Office informed me that the secret letter no. S 4067 dated 29 November 1990, consisting of a criminal complaint filed by the leadership of my Division, 57 Tank Division – UM 01035, Bucharest, cannot be found8. It is very possible that this fact of November 5, had a major influence in my dismissal from the army (though the “mission” that was being prepared for me, similar to those given to the Army in December 1989 at at the Mineriad of June 1990, was contrary to the Law 14/1972 on the organisation of national defence, in force at that date). My removal from the army was a deeply abusive and illegal act. The authorities denial to annul my dismissal is also profoundly abusive and illegal – the more so because, in an identical case, in law and in fact, a former colleague from CADA was reinstated in 20059. The access at the file of my dismissal (which is illegal from bottom to end) was refused to me for almost 25 years, until April 2015. In October 1993, a few years following my dismissal, there were many changes in the Army, changes I had fought for after December 1989, so I requested the minister at that date, General Niculae Spiroiu, to consider the possibility of calling me back to active duty, together with my colleagues who were also put in reserve, but the request was denied. More information about my activity as an officer of the Army (including the period in which I acted as officer in reserve) can be found on the page Documente/ Alte documente, "Bune practici publice şi contrariul lor: Agerpres şi MApN" .
After leaving the army, I joined the people who founded and started to organize the Civic Alliance (CA). Since the end of 1990, I held responsibilities in the central, organizational and decision making structures of the CA, where I successively fulfilled several responsibilities: secretary, vice-president, executive-president and president of the organization. Along with my colleagues from CA and from the Romanian Democratic Convention, I contributed (between 1991-1996), to the victory of President Emil Constantinescu and CDR (Romanian Democratic Convention)11. In May 2000, at the 6th Congress (which was going to be the last), I retired from the Civic Alliance. I decided to do so, after it became obvious to me that the most powerful leaders of the Civic Alliance had abandoned any kind of criticism at the government acts and policies and more generally, at the activities of the political class (especially their political allies). For almost six years after its establishment, CA was the most representative and trustworthy organization of the "civil society" due to the forthright attitude of its leaders. The attempts I made for the Civic Alliance to continue accomplishing its mission and statute were met with more and more hostility11. This new attitude of my colleagues could be explained by their own interests, some of them, depended on the decisions and good will of politicians (some, for example, for their own foundation/NGO or newspaper – such was the case of the spouses Blandiana and Romulus Rusan, respectively Petre Mihai Băcanu).
Between 1993 and 2004, I (also) worked with the "Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee" (APADOR-CH) – I was the project manager and vice-president of the organization. During the period April -October 2004, I worked as project manager for the Foundation "Institute for Public Policy" (IPP). Since January 2005, I have been a member of the Board of the Foundation Centre for Legal Resources (CRJ); between March 2008 and May 2013, I was the Chairman of the Board. I am author/ co-author of several studies, reports and analyses, most of them carried out within the programs of the non-governmental organizations I worked with, focused particularly on the human rights and the transparency and integrity of public administration. Most of these works are posted on the page Documente/ Analize, studii, rapoarte, manuale of this site. The works made at APADOR-CH (reports, especially) are available, on hardcopy in the Library of the Association. Some of the non-governmental organizations I worked with were also financially supported, in part, by George Soros (at a time when the American billionaire was known exclusively for funding the defense of fundamental rights and freedoms and the strengthening of democratic systems). We have not initiated or supported any other kind of projects with such funding (on the Documents / Other documents page you can see “Details on the activity within NGOs financially supported by George Soros”).
Between the 22nd of December 1996 and 27th of August 1997, I was a State Secretary, Chief of Government’s Control Body (GCB), within the government of Victor Ciorbea. The investigations I coordinated in this position uncovered several irregularities of some high officials affiliated to the governmental coalition (the questionable selling of part of the navy`s property, dossier "Flota-Petroklav"/Traian Basescu and others), the occupancy or the illegal appropriation of several residences from the State`s special locative fund etc.) This fact finally led to my dismissal – a decision which was publicly assumed by those who made it, as a mistake 12. The decision was seen as a setback in fighting corruption. A few weeks after the dismissal, the Prime Minister, the leadership of PNŢCD (National Christian Democratic Peasants' Party), but especially some of the most important leaders of the Civic Alliance, requested me assiduously and repeatedly to return to the governmental team – I refused mainly because no one could count on the solidarity I benefited from when I was removed from the management of GCB. The endeavours I made for the restitution of properties confiscated by the communist regime, which became the property of hundreds of important persons of the communist and “post-communist” regime were received with maximum hostility, the press revealing a case in which a magistrate, who was under GCB scrutiny, was plotting "a lethal accident" against me15.
During 2006-2009, upon the request of the management body (Marius Oprea-Stejărel Olaru-Andrei Muraru), I collaborated with the Institute for the Investigation of the Communism’s Crimes in Romania (IICCR), in drafting of some legislative projects and for writing some specific criminal notes. Most initiatives were interrupted in the office of the new team of IICCR, Vladimir Tismăneanu-Ioan Stanomir. The most relevant materials can be found on the Documente/ Alte documente page)13. During the first part of the year 2015, I made, on my own, the analysis "<Decomunizarea României>: fantasma unui sfert de veac", [Romania’s decommunization: the phantasm of a quarter of a century”] which can be found on the page Documente/ Analize, studii, rapoarte.
In order to defend my constitutional and legal rights violated by authorities and public institutions, but also in order to evaluate (test) the compliance with the right to a fair trial and access to justice in Romania, during 2002-2015, I initiated and sustained several civil trials and actions before the administrative and civil courts. I made this more substantially and more systematically after Romania joined the European Union, in the period 2009-2015 (I did that, inclusively because after the EU joining, the authorities and public institutions, among them the Court of law, proven many times higher disregarding than before of the fundamental citizens rights 14.
Plenty of my ideas and public attitudes have been looked upon with hostility by a great deal of the post 1989 "elites" – and here I am not referring solely to the political elite, but also to the "civic" elite and even some of my former colleagues. Over time, I have had sufficient confirmation that my presence in public life, especially in the political life and in important public positions, has been overall undesirable, a fact that has generated corresponding attitudes. In the summer of 2003, for example, several months after a famous Romanian exile publication15 suggested the idea of my running for the presidency the following year (the same suggestion had also been made by the president of PNTCD, Gheorghe Ciuhandu), the University Professor Dan Pavel accused me, in a slanderous manner, in a volume that claimed to handle "CDR history" that, among other things, I had caused the suicide of the person "who was cleansing" the Civic Alliance. During the same period, the former President Constantinescu attacked me somehow in a similar manner, in a volume of "memoires" – for example, that I had the mission to destroy the Civic Alliance from the inside. Following the trials, Dan Pavel was convicted of slander and Emil Constantinescu reedited the volume, removing the slanderous passage16 ; I initiated the two trials because the defamations which concerned me were contained in two books, and not just newspaper articles – in which case I would have turned solely to the right of rebuttal. Although he was well aware that I had managed to prove (with a lot of luck) my innocence regarding at least some of the allegations brought against me (especially regarding the suicide of the person from the AC), Gabriel Andreescu, my colleague at the time (from APADOR-CH) – in a surprising manner, considering his attitude in all the years until that point – soon joined the serious rumours spread by Dan Pavel, by writing an article in June 2003 (in the Observator Cultural magazine)17. No before long time, I had to deal with a new and unexpected attack from my colleague (in 2004, Timpul magazine – which denied my right to rebuttal), this time I was accused of "starting the fight with Traian Băsescu" while I was head of the Government’s Control Body, in 199718. In the summer of 2014, it turned out that in 2003 Gabriel Andreescu remarried Daniela Ghiţescu, a former Securitate agent at the Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest22.
Also, in order to harass, intimidate and prevent me from filling important public positions, right after I was put in reserve, minister Stănculescu and commander of the 57th Tank Division, Colonel Mircea Mureşan, filed a criminal action against me, at the Military Prosecution Department, for alleged disclosure of military secrets to the press, respectively for alleged disciplinary faults (among these, I had criticized the fact that the political and military staff in command after December 1989 had signed two military agreements, unknown to the public, with the Soviet Union, respectively that the army had been illegally entrusted missions to repress the manifestations of the people). Despite pressure from the two military leaders, the case was settled, as prosecutor Major Mircea Aron decided not to start the criminal investigation20. Shortly after, there was another trial, initiated by generals Plăviciosu and Trăistaru, which lasted about five years, for an alleged libel in the press21. This case was also ended with my acquittal. But before the final decision, a non-final judgment was sent, illegally, to the Criminal Records Authority on July 29th, 1996, in violation of the law. Thus, without my knowledge (I only found out in the spring of 2011) I had a criminal record fabricated22. My criminal record was manufactured two weeks after the newspaper Romania Liberă suggested (on the 11th of July 1996) that after the autumn elections I should be appointed Minister of Defence, and two days before I was appointed director of the presidential election campaign for Emil Constantinescu – I was appointed on July 31st, but inclusively because of these false criminal record inclusions I would retire from this position on September 18th23.
For alleged defamation in the press, between 1998 and 2002, four trials were filed against me: by Stere Gulea, the Chairman-General Manager of the Public Television and Radio, Victor Babiuc, the Defence Minister, Traian Basescu, the General Mayor of Bucharest and by my former colleague, Gabriel Andreescu. I won the first three cases, but I lost the fourth one, subsequent to an outrageous decision of ECHR24.
As a result of the many unjust measures and attitudes I had to bear from public authorities and their representatives, in March 2001, I initiated a number of steps (which have remained unsolved) in order to give up at my Romanian citizenship and / or to obtain the protection of my rights by another state28.
The Documente/ Alte documente section of the website, the material "Activitatea publică consemnată în presa scrisă" [Public activity put down in written press] has also a special biographic relevance, facilitating inclusively the correlation of the information from different sections of the website 26.
After 1989, I have collaborated with several publications, both inside and outside the country – România Liberă, Alianţa Civică, Bursa, Lumea Liberă (published in New York, from November 2000 to February 2003), New York Magazine (also published in New York, February 2003-November 2012), Cotidianul (November 1998-October 2004; from June 2010 until November 2012, the articles published in the New York Magazine were also taken over by Cotidianul; between 2015 and 2017, I published again in Cotidianul, with no pay, until Cornel Nistorescu refused by collaboration). Starting with 2005 and until 2010, when Cotidianul was taken over by Academia Caţavencu team (a publication owned by the businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vântu), I was cut out from this newspaper, the only one that published me in the country. At România Liberă, I worked between 1990 and 1998 (with no pay from the civic colleague, Petre Mihai Băcanu, the anti-Communist dissident who, immediately after December 1989, received this publication as a gift from the security-communist system; starting with 1998, s Băcanu refused to publish me). After Cotidianul, I started writing in the Timisoara magazine, where, one year later, I was cut out from27. My articles aimed primarily at the political and military actuality, human fundamental rights and freedoms, transparency and integrity of public administration, property right, Euro-Atlantic integration of Romania, “decommunization and process of communism” in Romania etc.
Still after 1989, I have attended specialization courses and I have made documentation visits outside the country, on the following topics: human rights (Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs), access at public information (Swedish Ombudsman), access at the archives of the communist political police (Joachim Gauck - German Federal Commissioner for the study of Stasi records), right to property (USA Private Property Committee).
On November the 9th, 2010, His Majesty King Michael I of Romania bestowed on me the Royal Decoration "King Michael I Medal for Loyalty"28.