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INTERIOR MINISTRY OFFICIAL bears witness in investigation of tapping

Interior Ministry Intelligence Service (DGIPI) head Virgil Ardelean told a joint meeting of the parliamentary chambers' Defense committees that his service asked prosecutors in 2003 to authorize the telephone surveillance of the Mediafax and the AM Press news agencies.

Ardelean said on 26 January that the National Anticorruption Prosecution denied the DGIPI permission to do so and the request was never resubmitted.

Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu called submitting such a request an "extremely serious offense that must be punished".