Petre Roman

27.04.2018
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Facts

Petre Roman was born in on 22 July 1946 in Bucharest, Romania. He is an electric engineer.

On 15 December 1989, a month after Ceausescu was re-elected as head of the Communist Party, anti-government riots broke out in Timisoara, West Romania, against the country’s Communist regime. The military was sent to control the riots, but failed to establish order. The riots quickly turned into bloody street battles between the angry mass and those loyal to the President.

Roman is accused to have participated in the crowd occupying the National Television building during at the time.

Ceausescu and his wife were tried and summarily executed on 25 December 1989. Following the news of the couple’s death, the street protests finally subsided. In all, over 1’100 people were killed, and over 3’350 were injured during the December protests in various Romanian cities.

On 26 December 1989, Roman became Romania’s first non-Communist Prime Minister since 1945. He remained officially in office until 1 October 1991, after which he remained active in politics.

Between 13 and 15 June 1990, peaceful anti-government protesters were confronted by over 10’000 pro-government miners, and the protests were then violently repressed by governmental forces, allegedly summoned by Roman, Iliescu, and several other officials. During the demonstrations, known as the ‘Mineriad’, four people were killed, 1’388 were injured and 1’250 people were arbitrarily arrested. Allegedly, the then-President Ion Iliescu called the minors of Valea Jiului, the country’s main coal basin, to go to Bucharest and pacify the “punks” and “thugs”.

Legal procedure

“1989 REVOLUTION” CASE

In 1990, the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Romania opened a criminal investigation into the events of the December 1989 revolution and those responsible for it.

On 14 October 2015, after almost 26 years of prolonged investigation, the military prosecutors within the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Romania decided to close the case on all charges, including on war crimes, genocide, and manslaughter. The prosecutors claimed there was no evidence to prosecute anybody as responsible for these events.

However, on 6 April 2016, the interim General Prosecutor sought to reopen the investigation, including on charges of genocide. In December 2017, the military prosecutors alleged that the 1989 protests were triggered by an orchestrated movement, led by army officers and some civilians, which included a deliberate misinforming campaign disseminated through broadcasting media. These individuals are reported to have taken power immediately after Ceausescu fled from office on 22 December. These findings reportedly raised questions as to whether the December 1989 events amounted to a revolution, or to a coup d’etat.

On 2 April 2018, the General Prosecutor asked Romanian President Klaus Iohannis that Iliescu be charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the December 1989 revolution. The Prosecutor also requested the prosecution of former Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman and former Deputy Prime Minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu.

On 13 April 2018, the Romanian President approved the request and asked the Justice Minister to proceed with the prosecution of Iliescu, Roman, and Voiculescu.

“MINERAID” CASE

In November 2014, the European Court of Human Rights found the lack of effective investigations into the incidents that occurred during the quashing of the 1990 ‘Mineriad’ protests to be in violation of the right to life, the right to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment, and the right to a fair trial of the people involved in the demonstrations.

In October 2015, the Military Prosecutor’s Section within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice Office reopened investigations against Iliescu for having decided, organised and coordinated a general and systematic attack against the civilian population during the events from 13 until 15 June 1990 in Bucharest. The suspects, including Roman, were first called for questioning on 21 December 2015.

On 13 June 2017, the Prosecutor’s office indicted Iliescu for crimes against humanity. According to a statement of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the attack illegally involved forces of the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry, Romanian Intelligence service, as well as the minors and other workers from various areas of the country. Together, these forces allegedly carried out violent attacks against civilians associated with the protests, as well as against peaceful residents.

The trial against Roman, Ion Iliescu, and several other accused started on 20 February 2018 before the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and is currently ongoing.

Fact Sheet
Name: Petre Roman
Nationality: Romanian
Charges: Crimes against humanity
Status: On trial for crimes against humanity committed in December 1989 ; Awaiting trial for crimes against humanity committed in June 1990.
Particulars: Currently on trial on charges of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the ’Mineraid’’ violent crackdown in bucharest in June 1990; awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the anti-communist revolution in various Romanian cities in December 1989.