JUSTICE

Colectiv nightclub owners heard at General Prosecution Office

The three owners and managers of the Bucharest Colectiv nightclub – Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu – were brought on Tuesday to the seat of the General Prosecution Office to be heard in the case where they face charges of manslaughter and culpable bodily injury.

Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu have been under pre-trial arrest since November 3.

The prosecutors argue that the fire at the Colectiv nightclub broke out because the club’s managers encouraged and allowed the access of an audience far beyond the club’s authorized capacity, and although the emergency evacuation exits were insufficient; they also allowed an indoor fireworks display in inadequate premises with flammable materials (soundproofing and decorations) installed illegally, in order to avoid additional costs. As a result, several people present in the club died or suffered bodily injuries.

A judge of the Bucharest Sector 4 Court admitted on November 3 the prosecutors’ proposal to place the three under pre-trial arrest on grounds of “gross negligence and heedless conduct in the club’s management.”

“The three defendants pose high social dangerousness and their attitude and behavior as reflected in their activity proves that letting them free would endanger the safety of the members of the society. The judge also considered the particular graveness of the deeds and their consequences (multiple deaths of young people and the bodily harm of others, some of whom are further hospitalized in critical condition), as well as the manner and circumstances of the perpetration. The judge also considers that the criminal prosecution is in an incipient stage, there is ample evidence to handle and the smooth unfolding of the criminal proceedings requires placing the three defendants under pre-trial arrest,” reads the reasoning for the arrest decision.

The judge appreciated the fact that the three defendants cooperated with the investigators, made detailed statements to the prosecutors, provided the requested documents, are young, have no criminal record and “seem to regret the incident in which friends of the defendants, acquaintances and employees included, have died.”

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