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August 15, 2022

DNA prosecutors demand maximum sentences in Colectiv case: Tragedy can occur again any time

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors and the General Prosecutor’s Office demanded maximum punishments for the former mayor of Capital District 4 Cristian Popescu-Piedone, city officials, club owners, two firefighters, two pyrotechnicians and representatives of a fireworks company, prosecuted in the Colectiv case.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal began the final debates in the Colectiv case on Friday, a context in which the prosecutors demanded punishments “aimed at the maximum provided by law” and with jailtime for the defendants this case.

The prosecutor with the General Prosecutor’s Office declared before the judges that even after the tragedy in the Colectiv, many economic agents refuse to obtain their fire permits, they only show on the window that they do not have them, but the announcement does not exonerate them from criminal liability.

“The risks are even greater. They may feel that they are not criminally liable because the victims assume that they are burning alive when they enter a location without fire permit. (…) Even if the society is marked by the tragedy at the Colectiv club, this can occur again at any time,” said the investigator.

In his turn, the DNA prosecutor asked the court to apply maximum and enforceable sentences, claiming that “the gentle attitude of the First Instance court is inexplicable”.

The investigator added that the social order was “altered” by corruption, and people burned, “and we’re not talking about two, we’re talking about a cemetery.”

The trial is on appeal, after the Bucharest Tribunal convicted Cristian Popescu-Piedone, city officials, club owners, two firefighters, two pyrotechnicians and representatives of a fireworks company on December 16, 2019.

The convicted persons were obliged to pay, in solidarity with District 4 City Hall and ISU Bucharest-Ilfov, moral and material damages of over 50 million euros to the victims of the October 2015 fire.

Also, the defendants, ISU and District 4 must pay more than 8 million lei to several hospitals in Bucharest and in the country, representing hospitalization expenses with the deceased and injured persons.

The decision of the Bucharest Tribunal was appealed by the convicted persons, but also by the prosecutors, Agerpres informs.

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