Romanian president Klaus Iohannis approved the General Prosecutor’s request to prosecute former president Ion Iliescu, former prime minister Petre Roman and former deputy prime minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu in the case targeting the December 1989 Revolution.
On Friday, April 13, president Iohannis requested the justice minister to proceed with the prosecution of the three, according to a press release from the Presidential Administration. At the same time, the General Prosecutor’s Office was notified of the request being made.
In early April, the General Prosecutor asked president Klaus Iohannis to green light the prosecution of Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman and Gelu Voican Voiculescu. All three face charges of crimes against humanity in the case of the anti-communist revolution in December 1989. Roman said he was “amazed and revolted” by the General Prosecutor’s request, and called the decision unfounded.
The case was reopened in 2016 at the request of the interim General Prosecutor at that time, Bogdan Licu, who believed that the previous investigation had missed some things. The military prosecutors who previously investigated the Revolution closed the case in the autumn of 2015 without indicting anybody.
The December 1989 Revolution marked the end of communism in Romania. More than 1,100 people were killed and over 3,300 were injured during the December 1989 events in Bucharest, Timisoara, and other Romanian cities. Most people lost their lives or were injured in the armed confrontations that followed after dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled Bucharest.
Last year, former president Ion Iliescu, former PM Petre Roman and former deputy prime minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu were also sent to court for crimes against humanity in a case related to the violent crackdown of the antigovernment protests in Bucharest in June 1990, also known as the “miners’ riot.” Iliescu is believed to have called the miners in Valea Jiului, the country’s main coal basin, to Bucharest to violently attack the peaceful protesters in Bucharest’s University Square, who were against his new political regime.