The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) welcomes the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice in the case regarding the death of dissident Gheorghe Ursu.

More than 30 years after his murder by torture, the military prosecutors ruled for the sending to trial of the following:

– Major (rez.) PÂRVULESCU MARIN and colonel (rez.) HODIȘ VASILE, former officers of Division VI Penal Investigations with the Securitate, for crimes against humanity;

– HOMOȘTEAN GEORGE, former minister of interior, and TUDOR POSTELNICU, former head of the Securitate, for accessory to crimes against humanity.

The press release issued by the Public Ministry, including information on the indictment, can be accessed here.

This decision shows that “Justice has no age and that a state subject to the rule of law that wishes to maintain this title has to prove that it has both the instruments and the will so as to allow Justice, even with a large delay, to do its job. The stake is ours in relation with the Securitate, which enjoyed the most silent and efficient historical and ethic amnesty of all the political police services in Eastern Europe. Let’s not forget that the Securitate did not admit its fault, did not pay for any damages, its members entered the new power structures. In December 1989 we killed two people and escaped two million. This form of legal and moral amnesty is not something that concerns only the Ursu family, but us all, as a society as a whole”, said Radu Preda, Executive President of IICCMER.

The case of engineer Gheorghe Ursu became very well-known after 1990 thanks to the efforts of his family to bring those responsible of his death to justice. Gheorghe Ursu’s son, Andrei Ursu, even tried to open a case against Pîrvulescu, the Securitate major who coordinated the investigation and head prosecutor of Military Prosecutor’s Offices at the time, for crimes against humanity, but the judges refused this legal qualification. The prosecutors systematically rejected the criminal complaints of Ursu’s son, either saying that the crime did not exist or that the deed had reached the statute of limitations. Among the numerous efforts to bring those guilty to justice is the statement of February 22, 2011, addressed by IICCMER to the Prosecutor’s Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Division of criminal prosecution and criminology. The Statement included a series of information and documents regarding the persecutions, abusive investigation, unfair repression and mistreatment of Gheorghe Ursu. On February 8, 2013, the Prosecutor’s Office with the Bucharest Courthouse, where the statement had gotten, once again ruled not to start the criminal proceedings.

Andrei Ursu went on hunger strike for 17 days in 2014, as a sign of protest against the fact that his father’s case was not reopened and the Securitate officer who coordinated the investigation was not indicted.

Gheorghe Ursu was an engineer, writer and dissident. He was arrested in 1985, following a denouncement made by one of his colleagues who entered into possession of his diary which was subsequently confiscated by the Securitate. He died while in custody of the Bucharest Militia in 1985, as he was systematically beaten by his investigators and fellow prisoners. On July 1, 2016, he would have been 90 years old.