Romania’s intelligence agency has paid homage to dissident who was ‘tortured’ to death by the former the Securitate communist secret police 35 years ago and says he hopes ‘justice will prevail’ in his ongoing trial.
It was the first time when the Romanian Intelligence has publicly rebuked the former Securitate whose officers are charged with the death of Gheorghe Ursu, a construction engineer who died in prison during interrogations.
The Bucharest Appeals Court acquitted two former secret police officers of his 1985 death in a Bucharest prison cell arguing that Mr. Ursu was not really a dissident.
The ruling angered his son Andrei Ursu who said it was an insult to the memory of his father and evidence that the Securitate still wielded influence in the justice system.
In his message on Wednesday, intelligence chief Eduard Hellvig said the agency “explicitly rejects and condemn the crimes and abuses made by the Securitate.”
„The Romanian Intelligence Service is hoping and expressing its trust that justice will prevail,” a statement said.
Communist leader Nicolae Ceausesu presided over a ruthless police state that was characterized by surveillance, torture, arbitrary detentions, and secret trials against real and perceived enemies.
Mr. Ursu was expelled was arrested by the Securitate in Dec. 1984.
He confessed to sending two letters to Radio Free Europe where he criticized „criminal measures” ordered by the Romanian leader to abandon the reconstruction of buildings that damaged during the March 1977 earthquake and pour money into the grandiose House of the People.
The engineer accused the communist authorities of censorship and was arrested again in 1985 for illegally possessing foreign currency. He was tortured into revealing his so-called ‘connections’ and recant which he refused to do.
”I reaffirm the position of the Romanian Intelligence Service … and explicitly reject and condemn the crimes and abuses made by former Securitatea,” Mr. Hellvig said.
“It is a good moment to remember and acknowledge the courage … of all those who stood against the communist regime” whether they are anonymous or their names are known “who rose up against an oppressive and criminal regime,” and helped transform Romania “into a country where individual liberties and democratic values have become the rule.”
“There is not and there will never be any sort of understanding or compatibility between the Romanian Intelligence Service and the former communist institution known as the Securitate.”