|Director of SRI|
March 26, 1990 – April 25, 1997
Virgil Măgureanu, (Template:IPA-ro; born March 19, 1941) is a Romanian sociologist that was the head of the main intelligence service of Romania, Serviciul Român de Informaţii, or SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) between March 26, 1990 and April 25, 1997 (when he resigned following a disclosure about his personal wealth, made at television while Virgil Măgureanu was among the invited people). His name at birth was Imre Asztalos.
Măgureanu was one of the members of the Military Tribunal that sentenced to death both Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena on December 25, the Christmas Day of 1989, the former Communist leaders of Romania.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Măgureanu was named to the post primarily on the basis of his "dissident" status within Ceausescu's regime, based on his teachings at the communist party's social science academy during the 1980s. Initially Măgureanu managed to hide his membership in the Securitate from the post-communist authorities, but his affiliation was exposed by the press years later.
Western intelligence services discovered that immediately after his appointment, in April 1990, Măgureanu met secretly with KGB Chief Evghenii Primakov without informing the political authorities in Romania. Măgureanu's KGB contacts remained unknown to the Romanian Presidency and Governments until 2003, when the Western services that monitored those contacts informed Bucharest.
According to the CIA, Măgureanu's activities, and the fact that the CIA chief in Bucharest during 1990-92, Harold James Nicholson was later exposed as a Soviet agent, followed by the 1994 arrest of Aldrich Ames, effectively rendered closer intelligence relations between Romania and the West impossible during the first half of the 1990s.
Virgil Măgureanu was deposed as head of SRI in 1997, at the beginning of Emil Constantinescu's mandate as President of Romania.
References[edit | edit source]
- Larry L. Watts, Intelligence Reform in Europe's Emerging Democracies (CIA website)
- Dana Donciu, Destinul principalilor participanţi la procesul soţilor Ceauşescu (Historia.ro website -- in Romanian), retrieved on December 23, 2011