1994: The Closing Door on December 1989
(purely personal views, based on two decades of prior research and publications)
Expres Magazin, 12-19 ianuarie 1994, p. 10. Nicolae Ceausescu’s last Director of the Securitate (D.S.S.) is released after 4 years of arrest and imprisonment.
1994 was an “an de cotitura” turning point year for the historiography of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989. It started with the announcement that at the close of 1993 former Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad had been released from jail. By fall 1994, none of the former senior members of Ceausescu’s communist leadership, the secret police (Securitate), or police (Militie) arrested, tried, and jailed for their role in the December 1989 repression was in jail. That, as some have noted, left the Romanian Armed Forces, particularly the Army, as both the only group who hadn’t been officially punished yet for its role in the repression, but also, insufficiently recognized at the time, the military as a ready-made scapegoat for all the unresolved crimes of December 1989.
The political context of the time seems very relevant. Ion Iliescu had won his second mandate as president in the fall of 1992, his first full mandate under at least semi-normal conditions of electoral competition. The National Salvation Front of 1990’s institutional successor, the PDSR (renamed from FDSN) in 1993, was dependent from the beginning on four parties most directly linked to the Ceausist legacy: the PRM “Greater Romania Party” of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the PSM of Adrian Paunescu, the PUNR of Gheorghe Funar, and the PDAR of Victor Surdu. The PDSR government of Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu was dependent upon them for their parliamentary majority and later would for a period of almost a year, formalize an agreement with the four parties to bring them into government.
Following Iulian Vlad’s release, President Ion Iliescu’s pardons in two waves (March and September 1994) would finish the job, as detailed below:
ILIESCU PARDONS COMMUNISTS, CUTS HUNGARIAN SENTENCES. President Ion Iliescu pardoned eight former communist party officials and reduced the sentences of seven ethnic Hungarians, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio Bucharest reported on 25 March. The eight communists pardoned were convicted of conspiracy, involving attempted murder. Their pardon has long been demanded by the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party. Among them are Stefan Andrei, Susana Gadea, Constantin Radu and Ion Stoian. Only one of those sentenced in connection with the December 1989 events, Ion Dinca, is still in prison. Those pardoned on 25 March had been released on health grounds some time ago. The seven Hungarian ethnics whose sentences were reduced were convicted of murdering two policemen during the 1989 uprising. The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania had long campaigned for their release, stating that they had received longer sentences than ethnic Romanians would have received. Presidential spokesmen Train Chebeleu said on the same day that the HDFR demands had been supported by one of the two rapporteurs for the Council of Europe. The two rapporteurs are about to begin a visit to Romania. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. http://www.friends-partners.org/friends/news/omri/1994/03/940328.html%28opt,mozilla,unix,english,,new%29
FORMER COMMUNIST BOSSES RELEASED IN ROMANIA. Reuters reported on 20 September that the last two former communist officials jailed in connection with the December 1989 events had been freed on parole the same day. The two, former Deputy Prime Minister Ion Dinca and Ludovic Fazekas, a top official in the defunct Romanian Communist Party, spent almost five years in prison on charges related to the killing of demonstrators in the 1989 revolt. No appeals against the court’s decision to release the two have been filed so far. — Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. http://www.friends-partners.org/friends/news/omri/1994/09/940921.html%28opt,mozilla,unix,english,,new%29
După ce, rând pe rând, fostele slugi ale dictatorului Ceaușescu au părăsit pușcăriile unde fuseseră încar cerați, în principal pentru subminarea puterii de stat, ultimii șase membri ai Comitetului Politic Executiv i-au solicitat grațierea, printr-o scrisoare, preșe dintelui de pe atunci, fostului lor coleg Ion Iliescu.
Cei șase erau: Lina Ciobanu, Constantin Nicolae, Gheorghe Oprea, Constantin Olteanu ( n.r – fost ministru al Apărării și ex-primar al Capitalei), Dumitru Popescu (n.r. – zis „Dumnezeu”) și Gheorghe Pană. Pe 24 septembrie 1994, când acest articol era publicat de EVZ, o altă știre anunța că, fix în aceeași zi, Ion Dincă (n.r. – zis „Teleagă”) și Ludovic Fazekas – alți doi demnitari comu niști, părăsiseră definitiv pușcăria Jilava.
Niciunul dintre foștii lideri comuniști nu și-a ispășit pedeapsa în totalitate, ei fiind eliberați înainte de finalizarea condamnării lor. Aceste lucruri se întâmplau pe când președintele țării era Ion Iliescu