Iliescu: Ceausescus’ trial was organised in exceptional circumstances

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The trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu was organised in Targoviste (southern Romania) in exceptional circumstances, with a lot of improvised things, with the decision having been made due to the fact that people continued to be killed after the couple fled, former President of Romania Ion Iliescu told a solemn meeting of Parliament marking the 20th anniversary of the Romanian December 1989 Revolution on Thursday.

‘It would have been more advantageous to have organised a public trial, under normal conditions. But we were not in a normal situation. What mattered then was that we saw that each passing day and each passing hour was seeing new human lives sacrificed. This made us take the responsibility of organising the trial in Targoviste in exceptional circumstances, with a lot of improvised things. The immediate effects proved that the assumption from which we had started in making this decision was correct.

The day after the trial and the execution, the armed actions stopped, except for some isolated incidents’, Iliescu told the event staged by the Romanian Revolution Institute at the Palace of Parliament.
He described as fabrication and speculation the reports that he had allegedly made a phone call to the Soviet Union’s embassy in Bucharest or to Moscow, ‘thus inducing the suspicion that somebody could have called a Soviet military intervention’.

‘There were speculations over a rumour that I allegedly had relations with (Mikhail) Gorbachev while I was a student, which is not true. I had never met Gorbachev before 1990. But the rumour was listened to by Cabinet no. 2 (Elena Ceausescu’s Office – editor’s note), at a time when I was a director of the Technical Publishing House. During Gorbachev’s visit to Romania in 1989 I was instructed to leave Bucharest for three days under the pretence of a quite ordinary technical-scientific mission to Timisoara’, former President Iliescu recalled.

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