AUDIO EVIDENCE // Deputy Olesea Stamate: "We really got burned with this Herman..."

Colaj CIJM

The Center for Investigative Journalism from Moldova (CIJM) expresses regret over the attacks and pressures to which the Portal has been subjected following the publication of the investigation "Herman von Hebel's Hybrid Integrity". After 20 years of history, thousands of investigations conducted, and an impeccable reputation, we are put in a position to demonstrate that we are doing our job honestly. Thus, circumstances compel us to make public the audio conversation with Deputy Olesea Stamate, after the latter denied having made any comment before the publication of the investigation. Furthermore, she mentioned that the quote attributed to her was erroneous.

The investigation was published on the portal on March 25 and was based on a series of materials published in the foreign press available in the public domain.

During the investigation and verification of information regarding the alleged incompatibility of functions admitted in the case of the President of the Pre-Vetting Commission, the financial losses caused by the reform of the Registry of the International Criminal Court, which he administered, and some discrepancies in his resume, the author of the investigation, Cornelia Cozonac, also requested the opinion of Deputy Olesea Stamate, who at the time of selecting the members of the Pre-Vetting Commission, was the chairperson of the Legal Affairs, Appointments and Immunities Committee and a spokesperson for the justice reform.

The investigation contained the following content, including some quotes extracted from statements during the discussion. The telephone conversation took place on March 21 and was recorded to provide evidence for fact-checking the investigation.

On March 28, three days after the publication of the investigation, Olesea Stamate posted a message on her social media page denying that she had offered any comment in the investigation.

Since we consider the statements of the deputy unfounded and denigrating, we are compelled to make public the audio recording of the conversation with Olesea Stamate, which she denies. The author of the investigation asked her before the publication of the investigation if she knew about the circumstances in which Herman von Hebel administered the reform of the Registry of the International Criminal Court and what effects it had. Olesea Stamate mentioned that these aspects were not known, but that other problems of the current President of the Pre-Vetting Commission were discovered post factum.

The discussion lasted about 17 minutes and also addressed aspects of the activities of the vetting and pre-vetting commissions and some "scandalous" hearings of late. We will only present the part that refers to the subject of the investigation.

Olesea Stamate: "They were selected by development partners, several candidates were sent to us, from which we have already selected. What we could do is to reach out to experts we know from EU countries (...), other known experts to see, rather, their performance, rather where they worked before and what opinions are about them, less about the financial aspect... Basically, you rely on the fact that in the countries they come from, there are still rules that are respected."

Cornelia Cozonac: "I found some not very good information about Herman von Hebel...".

Olesea Stamate: "I know, I know... I mean, I don't know what you found, but we found out some things about his activity in Albania, post factum, that is, after he was already appointed. (...) What we found out later, because the information is not public and nowhere has it been written, is that he was in Albania, as an expert in something related... I don't know... vetting... something like that, more on the monitoring side. Someone told us that he... I mean, he wasn't fired, but his contract wasn't renewed. Unfortunately, we found out post factum; about the data from the Court, I’m hearing for the first time."

Cornelia Cozonac: "We're trying to find out where he worked as judge and we can't find it(...) "The full CV is nowhere to be found. I even searched for it, requested it from the commission, and they haven't given it to me yet."

Olesea Stamate: "They didn't give it to you? (...) Let me check if the CV has been kept and I'll give it to you. Now, I don't know what to say. We had big problems with him. He was the one in this commission who slowed down everything... We were not very happy with him, we can't wait to get rid of him. (...) But now... you realize... you will write as you see fit... Investigations are investigations, but you realize that everything related to vetting, pre-vetting is not exactly in our interest to look bad. This process is under severe criticism (...) We really got burned with this Herman, the second time we tried to be much more careful, we rummaged through everything we could."


CIJM assures that it has never and will never deviate from professional principles and will continue to publish any information it considers relevant and important to the public. This objective becomes even more important in the context of increasing questions about the justice reform. At the same time, we will respond with well-founded arguments whenever we are the target of unfounded accusations.


Textele de pe pagina web a Centrului de Investigații Jurnalistice sunt realizate de jurnaliști, cu respectarea normelor deontologice și sunt protejate de dreptul de autor. Preluarea textelor știrilor și a investigațiilor jurnalistice se realizează în limita maximă de 500 de semne. În mod obligatoriu, în cazul paginilor web (portaluri, agenții, instituţii media sau bloguri) trebuie indicat şi linkul direct la articolul preluat de pe în primul alineat, iar în cazul posturilor de radio și TV – se citează obligatoriu sursa.

Preluarea integrală a textelor se poate realiza doar în condiţiile unui acord prealabil semnat cu Centrul de Investigații Jurnalistice.

Follow us on Telegram