Romania’s high court cancels investigation into 1989 Revolution; gov’t official accuses judges of making a mockery of justice

Romania’s high court has returned a decades-long prosecution into the bloody 1989 anti-communist revolt to military prosecutors citing legal flaws. The move was met with sharp criticism on Thursday.


A top government official said prosecutors were making a mockery of the investigation. He accused them of dragging their feet to the extent that the some elderly figures may never be brought to trial for their role in the bloodshed.

The Court of Cassation and Justice on Wednesday said there were a number of legal issues connected to the investigation of military prosecutors. It found irregularities in the indictment including testimony from dozens of people injured in the uprising.

“This is another slap in the face of history and a proof of ignorance about the bloody events of December 1989,” Alexandru Muraru, the prime minister’s adviser on anti-Semitism and the memory of communism said Thursday.


Prosecutors will have now have to restart the investigation from scratch, 32 years after the bloody uprising which left more than 1,100 dead.

It is the latest time the investigation has been dropped in the past 30 years. Critics say there is a reluctance to press charges because protagonists, particularly ex-President Ion Iliescu are still alive.

But Mr Muraru warned: “It’s probable that when the investigation is finally wound up, there won’t be anyone alive to answer for what they did. After 30 years, the evidence deteriorates. There is the question of witnesses dying.”

Special department

He called for a special department to be set up in the prosecutors’ office. He said it should be tasked with investigating crimes against humanity, genocide, Holocaust denial.

The Military Prosecutor’s Office had brought charges against  Mr. Iliescu who went on to become president three times, and other high-raking officials.


Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were overthrown and executed on Christmas Day after a hasty trial.

Ion Iliescu and former deputy prime minister, Gelu Voican Voiculescu were charged with crimes against humanity for sowing the deadly chaos that followed Ceausescu’s ousting

President Klaus Iohannis called the failure to probe the bloody uprising  “a shameful failure of the state.”




Thirty-one years after Communist revolution, Romanians still waiting for justice. ‘A shameful failure of the state’-president



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