Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar announced on Monday that the Military Prosecutor’s Office Section attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice sent the “Revolution” file case to court.
“Today, the Military Prosecutor’s Office Section attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice forwarded the indictment to the court in the generic case known as the “Revolution” case file,” said Augustin Lazar.
He specified that the case contained over 3,000 volumes, and the evidence obtained after 13 June 2016 was mainly administered for drawing up of the indictment.
“The indictment of the Military Prosecutor’s Office Section has 12 volumes, totaling 3,280 pages. The case file covers 3,330 volumes, of which 2,030 volumes were handled after June 13, 2016. I would like to point out that for the purpose of drawing up the indictment, the evidence where mainly obtained after June 13, 2016, when the judge of the preliminary chamber at the High Court of Cassation and Justice confirmed the reopening of the criminal investigation in the present case,” Lazar said in a press statement.
On this occasion, the prosecutor general apologized for the excessive length of the criminal investigation in this case.
Ion Iliescu, Gelu Voican Voiculescu, sent to court in Revolution criminal file
Former president of Romania Ion Iliescu was sent to court by the military prosecutors in the “December 1989 Revolution criminal file” for crimes against humanity.
Moreover, Gelu Voican Voiculescu, former Deputy Prime minister, and General (r) Iosif Rus, former Military Aviation chief were also prosecuted in the same criminal file.
In ‘1989 Revolution’ investigation military prosecutors close case against Ceausescu, Roman, Stanculescu, others
Military prosecutors closed the case against several accused in the “December 1989 Revolution” file, specifically the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, former Prime Minister Petre Roman, former Defense Minister Victor Atanasie Stanculescu, Silviu Brucan – a former decision-maker of the National Salvation Front Council, Iulian Vlad – former head of the Securitate State Department, former Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu, former Defense Ministers Vasile Milea and Nicolae Militaru.
According to a release of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the decision to close the case was made based on several reasons: the death of the persons accused, absence of conclusive evidence or bar by ‘res judicata’.
President Iohannis says 1989 Revolution crimes cannot go unpunished
President Klaus Iohannis welcomes the completion of investigations under the December 1989 Revolution case file and sending the case to trial, calling it an extremely important step after a long time in establishing the truth about the events of December 1989, according to a press statement released by the Presidential Administration.
“The crimes of the Revolution cannot go unpunished!,” says Iohannis.
He underscores “the particular importance of the historical cause of the 1989 Revolution, and sees the announcement of the completion of the judicial inquiry and the referral to court as a matter of great importance in the judiciary establishing the truth.”
“Settling this historical cause is all the more important as a genuine democracy is built only on the solid foundations of truth and justice.”
The Presidential Administration mentions that President Iohannis has repeatedly argued that the truth must come to light and stressed the need for a clear, sound and legal decision on the events of December 1989, as he believes that to be a major outstanding issue of Romanian justice.
“In the approach of the Romanian society of knowing and taking responsibility for the past, it is fundamental to penalise the misdeeds that were a direct attack on human life and dignity during the Revolution of December 1989. The completion of the judicial investigation under the Revolution case file is a necessary action in the year when we mark the 30th anniversary of the collapse of Communism and in which we will remember the ideals of the Revolution of December 1989 and honour our heroes.”
Iohannis emphasises that today’s generations need “education in the spirit of truth.”
“Young people must know that the communist regime systematically curtailed citizens’ rights and freedoms and committed countless injustices. In December 1989, the Communist regime collapsed as it had been inaugurated: through crimes and abuses, and the past must be an alarm signal to today’s young people and the action of justice is fundamental in that respect. Democracy consolidation and respect for human values cannot be achieved outside the action of justice,” says Iohannis.
PSD: Rule of law in a democratic country cannot be built with former agents of communist regime
The rule of law cannot be built in a democratic country with former agents of the repressive communist system, said the Social Democrats in reacting to the announcement made by prosecutor general Augustin Lazar that he sent to court the “Revolution” file (the anti-communist revolution of 1989 – editor’s note).
“It is revolting to see how the “Revolution” file is being sent to court by a former agent of the communist political police! We cannot tolerate that the same person who arrested and tortured the anti-communist dissidents claims now to make anti-communist justice. People died in the Revolution precisely to prevent such persons to ever hold high offices in the post-revolutionary state again.
President Iohannis can no longer use the excuse that he didn’t know the true identity of the one whom he appointed prosecutor general of Romania. For now he knows Lazar was a member of the secret police and he still protects him. The rule of law cannot be built in a democratic country with former agents of the repressive communist system,” said the PSD representatives on Facebook.
In their opinion, President Iohannis “until now has claimed that he represents the anti-communist Romanians, but, when the time came to prove he is by their side, he showed his true face of a protector of the collaborators of Securitate and members of the repressive apparatus of Ceausescu.”
PNL’s Orban calls good thing sending Revolution file for trial
National leader of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said on Monday that sending the December 1989 case file to court for a trial can be a good thing.
“For 30 years, we have been demanding the punishment of the culprits for the deaths of the Revolution and for 30 years this file has been kept closed in the drawers of various prosecutors’ offices. Its being sent to court for trial can be a good thing. Better late than never. I want to research well into this subject, to see if the way in which it was sent for a trial is a way of punishing all those guilty of the deaths of the Revolution,” Orban said after a meeting of the PNL Executive Bureau that took place at Parliament Palace.
USR: Victims of December 1989 revolution need justice
The Save Romania Union (USR) hailed the conclusion of the investigation into the Revolution file by the military prosecutors and believes that, after almost 30 years since the death of more than one thousand Romanians and injury of more thousands, the justice system finally has the opportunity to do justice to victims and their families.
According to USR, “Ion Iliescu and other communists who grabbed power in December 1989 through disinformation and diversions, through crimes against humanity, should pay for what they did, and the truth should finally come out.”
“Even this late we must re-establish the historical truth. Romanians must find out who ordered and who opened fire against those who only wanted freedom and democracy. How come that the entire military force of Romania, starting with the Ministry of National Defence and ending with the patriotic guards from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, joined the National Salvation Front (FSN)? Only to help Ion Iliescu and his group to grab power and gain legitimacy in front of the people pushed to the limit of despair?,” stated Dan Barna, the head of USR, according to a press release.
The reality of the past 30 years “has shown us how toxic the strategies adopted by the former communists and their political successors are and how great is the danger of falling victims to them once more.”
“The successors of Ion Iliescu practice lies, diversions and manipulation as state policy, the same as they are used to tirelessly steal from the public money. And PSD [the Social Democratic Party], which is the successor of the PCR [Romanian Communist Party] continues to defy the successors of the December 1989 victims by maintaining Gelu Voican Voiculescu and Ion Iliescu as heads of the Romanian Revolution Institute, while they are prosecuted for having committed crimes against humanity. Romanians deserve a free and democratic country and the sacrifice of the heroes of the Revolution must not be for nothing!,” concludes the USR release.
Former PM Roman criticises PG Lazar for speaking for 1989 Revolution
Romania’s Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar “had no business” speaking up in the December 1989 Revolution court case, former PM Petre Roman told AGERPRES on Monday, adding that this file is very important for all those who are victims or relatives of the victims of those days and who have the absolute right to “get this cause of theirs illuminated.”
He voiced “surprise, disappointment and even indignation” for the fact that this case was brought to trial through Augustin Lazar’s mouth.
“This means, in his own words, a total lack of sense of honour and moral duty. He had no business speaking up for this matter – and I say so thinking about my comrades at the barricade – on the night of December 21 when (…) 39 people were massacred. How is it possible for a prosecutor who would execute the darkest targets of the Ceausescu regime to come and tell the Romanian people about this case? Any of the military prosecutors who actually worked on this case would have been more welcome. And I say so because I’ve had many hours of talks with the military prosecutors who were investigating the case, many of my questions and theirs. I know they had a huge amount of data and information that they had to process with all their attention and they have advanced with the case. I think they did it in good faith, as I know them, although I keep my doubts about the need to bring Ion Iliescu to court, and even more so in the case of Gelu Voican Voiculescu,” said Roman.
He argued that the file shows that former President Ion Iliescu was allegedly seeking to secure his political power, “or, when the terrorist diversion was triggered, he had already been chairman of the of CFSN [National Salvation Front Council].”
“It was the only political power in Romania at that time, because CFSN had actually met for the first time on December 27, when there was no more military action, and the terrorist diversion that caused so many hundreds of deaths and thousands of injured was undoubtedly linked to the initiative and orders of some military leaders. That is why I keep my doubts about this matter, all the more so as far as Gelu Voican Voiculescu is concerned, who was nobody then, whom would he order around? But I very much appreciate the importance of this case, because all those who are considered victims or relatives of the victims of those days have the absolute right under the rule of law, democracy, and freedom that we conquered at that time to get their cause illuminated. That is indeed a fundamental issue for the functioning of society in democracy,” added Roman.
PNTCD: Augustin Lazar has compromised the Revolution Case
PNTCD Chairman Aurelian Pavelescu stated on Monday that his party wants to find the truth about the Revolution, but in his opinion, the General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar has compromised the Revolution Case, because he used it to “whiten his past of a protector of the torturers”
“PNTCD wanted since 1990 to find out the truth about the Revolution and states it further wants it. What the General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar did is unacceptable. He compromised the Revolution case, using it in a shameful manner in order to whiten his past of a torturer, of a protector of the torturers, on one hand, and on the other hand in order to turn this case into a subject of electoral campaign.
He claimed that normally, the press conference announcing sending the Revolution case to the court had to be held by the case prosecutors.
“More details were needed regarding this case expected by the Romanian society for 30 years. But the General Prosecutor didn’t do this. ON the contrary, he used this case for his own interest. For this reason, we ask once again the resignation of the dismissal of the General Prosecutor by the Romanian President, as more as he has a case opened for crimes against humanity”, Pavelescu concluded.
Voican-Voiculescu: Revolution criminal file, absurd, no order exists by which CFSN determined death of 862 persons
The Revolution criminal file is an “absurdity” because “a Revolution is not sent to court” and at the same time, there is no document to confirm that the CFSN (Council of National Salvation Front, ed. n.) members decided the death of 862 persons, Gelu Voican-Voiculescu, director of the December 1989 Romanian Revolution’s Institute (IRRD) told AGERPRES.
According to him, the announcement on the prosecution of the December 1989 Revolution criminal file was something to be expected, but the one who made the announcement “had no moral authority to appear in public.”
“As regards the file per se, it is an absurdity, because a revolution is not sent to court. A revolution is a discontinuity, a rift in the life of a society and it is a violent, deeply illegal event in relation to the previously existing lawful order. We, the CFSN, the ones who took over power on 22 December 1989 are being charged with being responsible for the death of 862 persons. And yet the significant element is forgotten, namely that all of those persons were dead until the night of 25 December 1989, when the execution of the Ceausescu couple was publicly announced. In theory, we were in power, but we did not actually exercise power as of 22 December, it was only on 27 December that the structures were separated – the government, the structures and so on were appointed,” Voican-Voiculescu stressed.
Moreover, he added there is no document to prove that 862 persons died on order, the way an accusation reads in the December 1989 Revolution File, their death happening “in the course of the events”.
“There is no order by which we would have determined the death of these 862 persons who were like us, our colleagues, our comrades. What reasons would we have had to determine their death? There is no order, no document, nothing signed by any of us, the CFSN members – that was not differentiated [in power structures, ed. n.] – that would result in these peoples’ death. So, this happened in the course of the events, which in a revolution cannot be controlled, unfortunately,” the IRRD director added.
PM Dancila: After all, it’s necessary to find out the truth
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Monday stated it’s necessary to find out the truth about the December 1989 Revolution.
“As you well know, I don’t comment on matters related to justice. I believe justice should be done by judges and the less politicians talk about it the better. After all, it’s necessary to find out the truth and I believe that the Justice system is the one to do it,” said Dancila, who is currently paying a visit to Tulcea, when asked her opinion about the sending to court for a trial of the “Revolution” file and if she thought it was too late for that.