A woman from Brasov whose 12-year-old son was killed in the 1989 Revolution set herself on fire in Poiana Brasov on May 25, on Heroes’ Day, in protest against the fact that the Romanian justice system has not yet finalized the file on the crimes of the revolution, Agerpres reports. It should be noted that the authorities – the police and the public prosecutor’s office – did not issue a statement until today, June 9, when they did so only at the insistence of journalists. The police and the prosecutor’s office usually communicate quickly all cases of suspicious deaths.
We recall that on May 25, on Heroes’ Day, the first three people in the state attended lavish ceremonies – President Iohannis in Sibiu, Prime Minister Ciucă in Bucharest and the head of the Chamber of Deputies in Buzău. The government rotation was scheduled for 26 May, but was postponed under pressure from the teachers’ strike.
The mother of Florin Negru, a martyred hero of the Revolution, set herself on fire on the Old Road, between Poiana Mică and Poiana Brasov, about a kilometre and a half from the place where Liviu Cornel Babeș set himself on fire in March 1989 in protest against the crimes of the communist regime, local journalist Claudiu Loghin reported on Facebook. According to him, the woman left behind a message of protest against the dragging out of the 1989 Revolution file.
A representative of the prosecutor’s office at the Brasov court confirmed the message left by Florin Negru’s mother: „We cannot reproduce the content of this message, but I can mention that the lady was dissatisfied with the evolution of things in Romania after the 1989 Revolution, the date of 25 May being also the day on which the heroes of the Revolution are commemorated,” she said, according to Agerpres.
Just after two weeks from the event, the Brasov police reported that a woman had set herself on fire on 25 May in Poiana Brasov, dying in an ambulance before being picked up by the SMURD helicopter.
The Prosecutor’s Office of the Brasov Court admitted that it is investigating the event also two weeks after the event, on the grounds that it has gathered evidence.
First prosecutor Anca Gheorghiu said that „as the investigation is at the beginning, it is essential that we first gather the necessary evidence to clarify the factual situation. Currently, investigations are being carried out in rem regarding the crime of manslaughter, and a forensic expert (autopsy) has been ordered to clarify the cause of death (…) The investigation is still in its early stages and it was necessary to gather evidence to clarify the facts. In each individual case, the prosecuting authority will decide when it is appropriate to provide information, as the prosecution is not public.
According to local publication MyTex, Ileana Negru resorted to self-inflicted burnings after allegedly being mocked by state institutions. The woman, who had been living in Spain with her daughter for some time, had come to Romania and had been going around the institutions so that the allowance she received from the Romanian state, worth 918 lei, could be transferred to Spain. Cătălin Giurcanu, a close relative of the family, said that the woman told him that she had been humiliated especially at the pension office, where she was told that since she lived in Spain she did not need the money from the Romanian state.
Background. 33 years after the 1989 Revolution, the file on the crimes is still in its infancy. It was only in February 2023 that the High Court of Cassation and Justice decided, in a final ruling, to refer the case of the December 1989 Revolution to the Bucharest Court of Appeal. This means that the trial will start with the hearing of hundreds of witnesses.
In January, the High Court of its own motion questioned the jurisdiction of the 1989 Revolution case, which had been referred back to court by the Prosecutor General’s Office after an odyssey of more than two decades.
The reason for questioning jurisdiction is that at the time of the events of 22-30 December 1989, Ion Iliescu – the main subject of the case – was not president of Romania. At that time, the defendant Ioan Rus was a military officer, and the only competent court was the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
Prosecutors from the General Prosecutor’s Office sent the Revolution case back to court in August 2022 after former Prosecutor General Gabriela Scutea said they had resolved the problems raised by the judges.
The Revolution case also includes former Romanian President Ion Iliescu, former Deputy Prime Minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu and former Air Force chief Iosif Rus.
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