Torturer Ioan Ficior, the former commander of the Periprava Labor Colony, was sentenced on Wednesday, by the Supreme Court, to 20 years of prison, for crimes against humanity. The Court obliged Ioan Ficior to pay EUR 310,000 to eight civil parties in the case. Ficior has a pension amounting more than RON 5,000, one third of it being seized by the Court’s decision.
Thus, High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) maintained the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal, by which Ioan Ficior (88 years old) has been sentenced on March 30, 2016 to 20 years of prison.
The Supreme Court’s decision has been taken with a dissenting opinion; two of the judges in the panel decided to sentence Ioan Ficior, while the third one ordered the cessation of the criminal trial for the former torturer.
“With a dissenting opinion, in order to admit the appeal submitted by the defendant Ioan Ficior, against the criminal decision no.50/F of March 30, 2016 issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal – the 2nd Criminal Division, only regarding the criminal issues of the case, to abolish the criminal decision, and under the Art.16, letter f, para. II of the Criminal Procedure Code, to cease the criminal trial against the defendant Ficior Ioan, for committing the crime provided by Art.2312 of the Criminal Code since 1936, as a result of the special limitation”, according to the Court’s decision.
ICCJ’s decision is final; Ioan Ficior will be imprisoned after the Court will send the decision to the Bucharest Police, which will enforce it.
By the same decision issued by ICCJ, Ioan Ficior is obliged to pay, jointly with the Finance ministry, Home Affairs Ministry and National Administration of Penitenciaries, EUR 310,000 as non-material damages for eight civil parties in the case. They will receive the equivalent in RON of the amounts varying from EUR 20,000 to EUR 70,000, calculated at the BNR official exchange rate of the payment day.
Biological samples will be taken form Ioan Ficior, in order to include his genetic profile in the National System of Judicial Genetic Data.
Former torturer Ioan Ficior was sent to judgment in August 2014, being accused of implementing and coordinating, from 1958 to 1963, when he was the Head of the Periprava Labor Colony, a repressive, abusive, inhuman and discretionary detention regime against the political prisoners, 103 deaths being recorded in these five years.
“The evidence in the case administered until now indicated that the detention regime implemented by Ficior Ioan during the period when he held leading positions at the Periprava Colony was meant to lead to the physical liquidation of the political prisoners by direct and indirect methods, such as: miserable and inhuman detention conditions, mistreatment; the lack of the proper food; the extreme cold in the barracks and excessive agglomeration; the lack of the potable water, which was replaced by dirty water directly taken from the Danube; the lack of medicines and healthcare or the refuse to provide proper healthcare; applying harsh punishments for minor breaches of the regulation”, explained the prosecutors of the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice in the indictment.
A similar case was Alexandru Visinescu’s case, the former commander of the Ramnicu Sarat Penitentiary, who was sentenced on February 10, 2016 to 20 years in prison; the decision was a premiere in judicial terms. Visinescu is the first defendant sentenced for crimes committed more than 50 years ago.