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December 4, 2021

Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman, Miron Cozma, indicted in case concerning the miners’ riots of 1990

Ex-President Ion Iliescu, ex-Premier Petre Roman and Miron Cozma, the former leader of the Jiu Valley miners, have been indicted for crimes against humanity, judicial sources inform. The decision was taken on Tuesday by prosecutors from the Supreme Court’s Prosecutor’s Office, in the case concerning the miners’ riots of 1990.

Likewise, other persons heard and accused over the years in this case have also been indicted.

The case will be tried by the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

So far, the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Supreme Court has made no official announcement in this case, pointing out that a press statement will take place at its headquarters.

On May 15th, ex-President Ion Iliescu and ex-Premier Petre Roman were heard at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Supreme Court, in the case concerning the miners’ riots of 1990, both in the capacity of defendants and both subpoenaed in relation to the expanding of the criminal prosecution, judicial sources stated back then.

Apart from Roman and Iliescu, starting on January 11th the following persons showed up at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice in order to be notified that they are defendants in the ‘Miners’ Riots’ dossier, for crimes against humanity: Gelu Voican Voiculescu, Adrian Sarbu, Virgil Magureanu, Emil ‘Cico’ Dumitrescu and Miron Cozma.

Andrei Plesu, Culture Minister in June 1990, was also heard as witness in this case. Dumitru Mazilu, First Vice President of the Council of the National Salvation Front, was also heard as witness, giving statements on the events of June 13-15, 1990.

On 23 December 2016, the High Court’s Prosecutor’s Office announced the start of criminal proceedings in the ‘Miners’ Riots of 13-15 June 1990’ case, for crimes against humanity, against Ion Iliescu (Chairman of the Provisional National Union Council and President of Romania at the time), ex-Premier Petre Roman, ex-Deputy Premier Gelu Voican Voiculescu, former Romanian Intelligence Service Director Virgil Magureanu, former First Vice President of the National Salvation Front Nicolae Dumitru, and General (ret.) Mugurel Cristian Florescu (former Deputy Prosecutor General and head of the Directorate of Military Prosecutor’s Offices).

Criminal proceedings for crimes against humanity also started against Admiral (ret.) Emil “Cico” Dumitrescu (at the time, member of the Provisional National Union Council and head of the General Directorate for Culture, Press and Sport within the Interior Ministry), Cazimir Ionescu (former Vice President of the Provisional National Union Council), Adrian Sarbu (former chief of cabinet and Prime Minister’s aide in June 1990), Miron Cozma (former president of the Executive Bureau of the ‘Jiu Valley’ League of Free Mining Unions).

Also indicted were Matei Drella (union leader at the Barbateni mine at the time the guilty acts were allegedly committed), Cornel Burlec Plaies (former deputy minister within the Mines Ministry), General (ret.) Vasile Dobrinoiu (former commander of the Interior Ministry’s Superior Military School for Officers), General (ret.) Petre Petre (former commander of Army Base 0575 Magurele, which belonged to the Interior Ministry).

The evidence handled in the case shows that, on 11-15 June 1990, the defendants plotted, organised and coordinated a generalised and systematic attack against civilians, namely against the protesters gathered in Bucharest’s University Square but also against the population of the municipality of Bucharest, attack that entailed the involvement of the armed forces of the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry and Romanian Intelligence Service, and of more than ten thousand miners and other workers from several regions of the country. Four persons were shot and killed in the events, while three others were shot and injured. Likewise, 1,269 persons sustained physical or psychological injuries, while 1,242 persons were deprived of the fundamental right to freedom, on political grounds.


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