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December 19, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 9, 2006
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August 9, 1978
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PDF icon CIA-RDP81M00980R000600060026-2.pdf76.24 KB
W Romanian Security Aide Renortedly Defects to U.S. By Peter Osnos Washington Post Staff Writer A lieutenant general in Romania's security police has defected to the `West and is seeking political asylum in the United States, according to re- ports here and in West Germany. The West German daily Die Welt said Yesterday that the official, Ion Pacepa, vanished 12 days ago while on a visit to Cologne. Informed sources 'in Washington said the newspaper's account was essentially accurate, but declined to confirm the paper's report 'that Pacepa is being interrogated by agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Pacepa was apparently a senior figure in the Romanian security appa- ratus-the local equivalent' of the So- viet Union's KGB. Sources here said the general was deeply involved in such sensitive matters as the personal safety and travels of Romania's Presi ,dent Nicolae Ceausescu. One U.S. source recalled that Pa- cepa was in the United States accom- panying Ceausescu on the Romanian's most recent visit last spring. According to Die Welt, Pacepa was last reported leaving his hotel the eve- ning of July 28. He was in Cologne ne- gotiating with the West'German firm VFW-Fokker for the right to build a German-designed passenger plane un- der license, the paper said. His disap- pearance was noted by the Romanian Embassy in Bonn which sought help from German police in finding him. Die Welt said Pacepa had been in contact with the CIA for some time before his disappearance. Officials here would not confirm that to be the case. The defection of Pacepa, assuming that he is cooperating with the CIA, is a blow not only to the Romanians but also to the Soviets, with whom they maintain close touch on security is- sues. The Romanian version of the KGB s one of the most elaborate in the So- let bloc. Pacepa, Die Welt said, ranked as a vice minister of the or- ganization, in addition to his rank as general-another indication that he had access to important Warsaw Pact secrets. Informed sources in Washington said that Ceausescu had always been especially careful about his internal security operation and that Pacepa's defection would likely have reverbera. tions in Bucharest. While Die Welt described Pacepa as one of the "most important" officials in Bucharest, this is considered an overstatement by knowledgeable sources here. Nonetheless, they said, Pacepa played it major role in prepa- rations for high-level talks between Ceausescu and other international leaders, an important function in a country which prides itself on having a role in world affairs beyond its size. Ceausescu is presently preparing for a visit from Chinese leader Hua Kuo-feng, the first trip by a Chinese party leader to anywhere in Europe outside the Soviet Union. Pacepa is undoubtedly one of the highest ranking security officials to defect from a Warsaw Pact country in recent years. Probably the most spectactular re- cent defection, however, was that of Arkady Shevchenko, the highest rank- ing Soviet official in the United Na- tions secretariat who refused to re- turn home in April and received asy- lum in the U.S.. WCIDIF Approved For Release 2006/08/09: CIA-RQ'$~1 M0098 ROQ06000600 ~J a