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September 27, 2020

Supreme Court upholds closure of 1989 revolution case

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ, Romania’s Supreme Court) rejected on Friday a complaint of the ‘December 21 1989’ Association against the decision of military prosecutors to close the 1989 revolution case.

ICCJ’s judges also rejected the request to notify the Constitutional Court on a relevant article of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court also rejected the Association’s request to joint its case to similar ones; these will be settled separately by other courts within the ICCJ.

Teodor Maries, president of the Association, attended the court seating and afterwards declared that the Army, Militia (Communist police) and Securitate (Communist political/secret police) have shot people during the 1989 revolution and have an interest to see this case closed. There is also a “political command” of the present-day Army, Interior Ministry and Intelligence Service to the same effect, he asserted. He also voiced his discontent for the prosecution’s refusal to include in the file decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which ordered the reopening of investigations in the revolution case.

The Military Prosecutor’s Office has closed the case on October 14 last year. The ‘December 21, 1989’ and about 150 revolutionists opened separate cases against the decision.

The December 1989 anti-Communist revolution in Romania resulted in 709 deaths; 1,855 people were wounded by shooting, and 343 more in other ways; and 924 people were detained. Military prosecutors argued that the acts did not fit the common legal definitions of war propaganda, genocide, inhuman treatments, war crimes against property and crimes against humanity. Also, they ruled that manslaughter or attempted manslaughter, homicide and instigation to homicide, violence, and some minor offenses could no longer be prosecuted, on grounds of negative prescription or amnesty.

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