Former Ceausescu Officials Sentenced to Prison Terms
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ The Supreme Court on Monday sentenced 21 former Communist officials to jail terms for supporting former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s attempts to crush the 1989 pro-democracy revolution.
The group was previously acquitted, but prosecutors appealed. No reason was given for Monday’s ruling, which cannot be appealed.
All of Ceausescu’s top aides are now imprisoned except for two deemed too ill to stand trial.
The stiffest sentences Monday were handed to Ceausescu adviser Silviu Curticeanu, former Commerce Minister Ana Muresan and former propaganda chief Ion Totu. Each were ordered jailed for 16 years.
Eight others, including former Foreign Minister Stefan Andrei, received 14 years. The other defendants received 8- to 11-year sentences.
They were accused of supporting Ceausescu’s decision to use live ammunition against demonstrators. Hundreds of people were killed in the days before Ceausescu was overthrown on Dec. 22, 1989.
The charge of ″complicity to extraordinarily grave murder″ carried a maximum sentence of 20 years.
None of the defendants was present in the courtroom, crowded with police, journalists and citizens, most of whom applauded the harsh sentences.
″I’m happy to see those who abused us for 45 years behind bars,″ said Marian Morosanu, who said he participated in the revolution.
Ceausescu’s four top aides are serving life sentences.
Ceausescu’s son Nicu, Communist Party boss in the Transylvanian town of Sibiu, and brother Andruta, who headed the Securitate secret police academy, are serving 20-year prison terms.
A decision is expected next week on Nicu Ceausescu’s request to be freed because of failing health. Doctor’s say the 42-year-old Ceausescu is dying of cirrhosis of the liver.
Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were convicted of genocide and executed Dec. 25, 1989.