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Ex-Interior minister faces hearings in 1990 miner violence case

Luni, 18 iunie 2007, 0:00

A former Interior minister who played a key role in an outbreak of violence against anti-communist protests in Bucharest 17 years ago faces hearings in the case related to what is generally known in Romania as the June 1990 “miners’ crusade” to the Romanian capital.

General (r.) Mihai Chitac is investigated for undermining state authority and crimes against humanity along 20 other people for their role in the wave of violence that spread to Bucharest on June 13-15 1990, when miners put a bloody end to a lasting, peaceful protest by thousands of Romanians against the ex-Communist rulers that got to power in the December 1989 revolution.

During hearings today, Chitac re-affirmed what he said at the first of his hearings in the case two years ago that the ones to blame for the 1990 “miners’ crusade” are the President of the time, Ion Iliescu, and the-then prime minister, Petre Roman.

Chitac is investigated on charges compiled after a former head of the Romanian Police said the violence that took place in the University Square in downtown Bucharest on June 13-15 1990 was ordered by Chitac, who served as Interior minister at the Time.

Chitac was replaced in office during the “crusade”, on June 14.

Ion Iliescu, a former communist apparatchik who now serves as honorary president of the main opposition party, is also facing an inquiry for his role in the “miners’ crusade”, when he was accused of calling miners to come to Bucharest to put an end to the anti-communist protests.

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