Romanian President Klaus Iohannis sent a request on Friday to the Justice minister for the launch of a criminal inquiry against former president Ion Iliescu, ex-prime minister Petre Roman and another former official, in the case of the 1989 Revolution. The Prosecutor General has charged the three men with crimes against humanity.
Nearly 30 years after the dramatic events that led to the fall of communism and the deaths of more than 1,000 people, prosecutors say they have evidence that shows that the three men staged a coup following the overthrow of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and that Romanians who demanded freedom in the streets were shot and tortured after a diversion set up by the three suspects.
Ion Iliescu and other political dissidents formed the National Salvation Front (FSN) in December 1989, which took power with the support of the army. The FSN then appointed a provisional government led by Petre Roman. Iliescu was the president of Romania until 1996. He has always denied that he was the source of the bloodshed.
Gelu Voican Voiculescu, also faces the same allegations of crimes against humanity. After the December 1989 Revolution, he was deputy prime minister in the first interim government and head of the secret service. He also denies the charges.
Petre Roman, the third figure accused in the Revolution, became a member of the Provisional Council of the National Salvation Front, which aimed to coordinate the revolution and establish democracy after Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu had fled by helicopter. Prosecutors say that along with Ion Iliescu and Gelu Voican Voiculescu they artificially maintained the violence as a pretext assume power.