The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Procesul de la Timisoara (I): Missed Press Opportunities. The testimonies of Margaret Cacoceanu and Doina Gherasim (25-26 September 1990)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on September 25, 2011

[as always, purely personal views based on purely personal research and publications over the past two decades]

Thanks to Miodrag Milin (and ASOCIAŢIA MEMORIALUL REVOLUŢIEI 16-22 DECEMBRIE 1989, TIMIŞOARA), the tapes of the Timisoara trials of 1990-1991 have been transcribed and made available to the public.  These transcripts are highly valuable for the researcher of the December 1989 Romanian Revolution.  To my knowledge, much of this information has never made it into the public domain, and much of the most important information has definitely not.

Below, the testimonies of Margaret Cacoceanu and Doina Gherasim on 25 and 26 September 1990.  The late Timisoara investigative journalist Iosif Costinas, who was one of the few to cover the trials as they were going on, wrote of Margaret Cacoceanu’s testimony in passing in the October 1990 Orizont article below.  She discusses how her daughter related from the county hospital that her husband had been operated on after having been shot by the destructive dum-dum explosive bullets, but nevertheless perished.   The next day Doina Gherasim testified that she had been shot with an “explosive bullet” (i.e. dum-dum bullet).  Unfortunately, Costinas did not note this second testimony and seek to investigate where it might have led him.

When reading the courtroom testimony below, keep in mind here the unambiguous rejection by military prosecutor Dan Voinea of the use of dum-dum bullets in December 1989:

Dan Voinea:  There were no victims (people who were shot) from either vidia bullets or dum-dum bullets.  During the entire period of the events war munitions were used, normal munitions that were found at the time in the arsenal of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry.  The confusion and false information were the product of the fact that different caliber weapons were used, and therefore, the resulting sound was perceived differently. (General Dan Voinea, interview by Romulus Cristea, “Toti alergau dupa un inamic invizibil,” Romania Libera, 22 December 2005, online edition.)

[Are these court documents available at the website of the IICCMER?  Or the website of Asociatia 21 decembrie 1989?  No!  Thankfully, however, they are available on this site ].  The following is from Volume V.]

“Margareta Cacoceanu (59 de ani) a relatat ca sotul ei a fost impuscat, cu gloante dum-dum, dintr-o “Dacie” rosie fara numar de inmatriculare.”


(Iosif Costinas, “PROCESUL TITRATILOR [e vorba de Procesul de la Timisoara]:  ‘DE CE V-A TREBUIT REVOLUTIE?…’,” Orizont (Timisoara), nr. 42 (20 octombrie 1990), p. 5)

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