ICCJ rejects demand to seize Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman’s assets in Revolution Case

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On Thursday, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) rejected the request, lodged by the “21 December 1989” Association, to order the seizing of Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman’s assets, in the Revolution Case.

“It rejects, as inadmissible, the request to order security measures lodged by the “21 December 1989” Association, plaintiff legally represented by Chairman Teodor Maries. In line with Article 275, Section 2, of the Criminal Procedure Code, it forces the plaintiff to pay the sum of RON 500, representing court costs. In line with Article 272 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it orders the payment of RON 130 each, representing the fees owed to the publicly appointed lawyers, sums of money that, in line with Article 275, Section 6, of the Criminal Procedure Code, are borne by the state. Final,” reads the court minute.

On April 13, President Klaus Iohannis green-lighted the criminal probing of Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman and Gelu Voican Voiculescu, in the Revolution Case.

Ex-President Ion Iliescu reacted to President Klaus Iohannis’s decision to green-light the criminal probe against him in the Revolution Case, stating that he does not find the decision surprising but does not see its legal framework. He said he is nevertheless surprised by the fact that, “being free, people no longer believe they have to fight for their freedom” and, for this reason, “people who were mum during Ceausescu’s times, if not actually contributing to the construction of Ceausescu’s cult of personality, have ended up lecturing on democracy.”

On April 2, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar forwarded to President Klaus Iohannis a request to green-light the start of a criminal probe against ex-President Ion Iliescu, ex-Premier Petre Roman, and ex-Deputy Premier Gelu Voican Voiculescu, in the Revolution Case, for crimes against humanity.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Ion Iliescu was member and Chairman of the Council of the National Salvation Front (starting on 22 December 1989), the body that de facto exercised central executive and legislative power, behaving like a Government until the publishing of Law Decree no.2/27 December 1989, which gave the Council Chairman the role of a Head of State, and the Council’s legislative prerogatives were separated from its executive ones, which required authorisation during the December 22-27 period.

In June 2017, the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice announced that military prosecutors had finalised their investigations into the dossier of the 13-15 June 1990 Miners’ Riots, and had indicted 14 persons for crimes against humanity, including ex-President Ion Iliescu, ex-Premier Petre Roman, ex-Deputy Premier Gelu Voican Voiculescu, former SRI Director Virgil Magurean, and former miners’ leader Miron Cozma.

High Court of Cassation and Justice prosecutors point out in their indictment that Ion Iliescu lied on national television about the goal of the protests in University Square and ordered that the soldiers involved in the events carry weapons and live ammunition, “their use against civilians being illegal.”

The “1989 Revolution” dossier is one of the most tergiversated investigations in the history of Romanian judicial praxis. Prosecutors have had to clarify the circumstances in which 709 persons were killed, 1,855 were wounded through the use of firearms, 343 were wounded through other forms of violence, and 924 were illegally detained.

The Supreme Court’s military prosecutors ordered, on 1 November 2016, the extension of the ‘in rem’ probe into crimes against humanity. Ex-President Ion Iliescu, ex-Premier Petre Roman, ex-Deputy Premier Gelu Voican Voiculescu, Laszlo Tokes, Ion Caramitru and Mircea Dinescu were among the witnesses heard.