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April 21, 2021

Two Colectiv club owners, under house arrest

Two of the Colectiv club owners – Paul Gancea and Costin Mincu – are about to be released from pre-trial arrest after the Bucharest Tribunal decided on Monday to place them under house arrest.

The court admitted the challenges of the two and replaced the pre-trial arrest measure with that of home arrest.

The decision is final.

On December 14 the Bucharest Sector 4 Court rejected the request made by Paul Gancea and Costin Mincu to replace the pre-trial arrest with the house arrest measure.

Previously, on December 2, the Bucharest Tribunal admitted the request of the General Prosecutor’s Office for a 30-day extension of the pre-trial arrest for the three owners and managers of Colectiv club – Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu.

The court admitted a challenge of the prosecutors and cancelled a Nov. 27 decision of the Sector 4 Court, which decided to replace the pre-trial arrest with the house arrest in the case of the three.

Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu have been under preventive arrest since November 3, being charged with manslaughter and culpable bodily harm in the case of the October 30 fire at the Colectiv club.

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.

In the investigation process the prosecutors seized the assets of the defendants and started the criminal investigation of the SC Club Colectiv SRL, the company that managed the Colectiv club, and Golden Ideas Fireworks Artists SRL – tasked with staging the pyrotechnic show, under charges of manslaughter and culpable bodily injury with multiple victims.

The Colectiv blaze death toll so far reached 62.

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