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Ion Iliescu: Romania's ex-leader charged with crimes against humanity



 Romanian demonstrators gather in front of the headquarters of the Romanian Communist Party in Bucharest, Romania, on December 22, 1989 Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The charges are the result of a long investigation into Romania's bloody and chaotic 1
989 revolution
                

Romania's Former President Ion Iliescu has been charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the aftermath of the violent revolt that toppled the communist regime in 1989.

Mr Iliescu and two others are accused of spreading disinformation in their TV appearances and statements, increasing the risk of "chaotic shooting".

After he took power, 862 people were killed. The charges come at the end of a long-running investigation

Mr Iliescu, 89, denies any wrongdoing.

  • Profile: Ion Iliescu
  • Romania profile

"It is a particularly important moment for Romania's justice system that is fulfilling a debt of honor to history," Chief Prosecutor Augustin Lazar customs reporters

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ion Iliescu served two terms as Romanian president
                

Prosecutors accuse Mr Iliescu and Mr Voiculescu or "directly spreading misinformation through televised appearances and press releases, contributing to the institution of a generalized psychosis".

Their statements increased the risk of "instances of friendly fire, chaotic shooting and contradictory military orders", prosecutors said.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu during their summary trial
                

Their actions are also blamed for the mock trial that resulted in the summary execution of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena on 25 December 1989.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

People marching in Romania's capital, Bucharest, in 1989 to celebrate the demise of Nicolae Ceausescu
                

Mr Rus is accused of ordering an air force regiment to change his insignia, which led to friendly incentives for the deaths of 40 soldiers and eight civilians at Otopeni International Airport, Balkan Insight reports.

Some 862 people were killed after 22 December when Mr Iliescu assumed power, prosecutors say.

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Media caption Camellia Sucu was 24 when she took part in the Romanian revolution
  • The children of Romania's revolution
  • 25 Dec 1989: Ceausescu executed

Mr. Iliescu had been a minister in the government of Nicolae Ceausescu, and went on to lead the National Salvation Front, which took control of the country after the uprising which began in the western city of Timisoara in December 1989.

He became interim president that month, was elected president in 1990 and served another term from 2000 to 2004.

Mr. Voiculescu also denies wrongdoing, calling the prosecution "an act of political revenge".


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