Romania’s 1989 Revolution: Former president Ion Iliescu to stand trial as prosecutors resend case to court
The General Prosecutor’s Office sent back to court the case targeting the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, in which former president Ion Iliescu faces charges of crimes against humanity. Former deputy prime minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu and Iosif Rus, former head of the Military Aviation, face the same charges, general prosecutor Gabriela Scutea announced on Wednesday, August 3, according to Euronews.ro.
The resumption of the criminal investigation was ordered on March 21 this year, after the High Court returned the file on February 14, the general prosecutor explained. The necessary criminal investigation documents, according to the provisions of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and the drafting of the indictment were carried out within a period of five months and 15 days.
The indictment focuses on the actions that took place between December 22 and December 30, 1989, after late dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu left the CC headquarters of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR).
Prosecutors say that, in order to obtain popular legitimacy and keep the political power held since December 22, 1989, Ion Iliescu “misled public opinion constantly, repeatedly, systematically, through his televised appearances and the issuance of official statements (a mechanism of exercising state power) and undertook, between December 22-30, 1989, the systematic operation to mislead the public opinion carried out by military staff with leading positions of the Ministry of Defense.”
According to the same source, these actions generated and fueled “the generalized psychosis of terrorism.” Between December 22-30, 1989, this led to 857 deaths and 2,382 injuries, plus “585 serious deprivations of liberty in violation of the general rules of international law and 409 cases of great suffering.”
“The same acts of the defendant Ion Iliescu generated, for the interval of December 22, 4:00 PM - December 30, 1989, a state of imminent and serious danger for the existence of a significant part of the population throughout the entire territory of Romania,” the General Prosecutor’s Office said.
Gelu Voican Voiculescu and Iosif Rus are to stand trial for similar crimes.
The December 1989 Revolution marked the end of communism in Romania. The civil unrest started in Timișoara on December 16, 1989, and then spread to Bucharest and other Romanian cities starting from the afternoon of December 21, 1989. This forced the Ceauşescu couple to leave the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. However, they were later caught and sentenced to death after a very short trial.
Most people lost their lives or were injured in the armed confrontations that followed after dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu fled Bucharest.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)