Businessman used ‘intricate knowledge’ gathered by British intelligence firm to fight extradition over corruption charges
'A former MI6 boss and a Liberal Democrat peer used retired intelligence officers to gather “sensitive” information from secret sources in the Romanian government to help a wealthy businessman facing corruption allegations, according to documents seen by the Observer.
Sir John Scarlett’s private intelligence firm, SC Strategy (SCS), which he co-owns with Lord Carlile, disclosed in a report produced for the businessman’s lawyers that it had obtained information from a range of well-placed “confidential sources” in Romania on sensitive issues including diplomatic negotiations and the activities of anti-corruption prosecutors.
The 2016 report suggests that SCS’s operatives enjoyed a remarkable degree of access in Bucharest and paid sources who had “direct and intricate knowledge” of Romania’s “political, security and intelligence apparatus”. One source is described as “a very high level” official in the president’s office. SCS undertook the intelligence work for Alexander Adamescu, a media and property tycoon who heads one of Romania’s wealthiest families.
Adamescu is awaiting extradition to Romania from the UK after Romanian prosecutors accused him of bribery and money laundering. The businessman has denied the allegations.
Lawyers for Adamescu filed the 36-page report as expert evidence in extradition proceedings held in London in 2017. Written by Carlile, who is a senior QC and former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, the report bolstered the businessman’s claims that the Romanian prosecution is politically motivated.
The document provides a rare glimpse into the world of private intelligence and sheds light on the activities of two distinguished former public servants and their discreet, well-connected British company.'
Read more: MI6 Lib Dem peer and ex-MI6 chief used former spies to aid Romanian tycoon