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Romanian Leader Says 120 Bullets Taken from Ceausescus’ Bodies With AM-Romania

January 22, 1990

PARIS (AP) _ Only five volunteers were asked to execute deposed dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife last month, but the entire 80-man firing squad insisted on shooting, a member of Romania’s interim government told a newspaper.

Silviu Brucan, a member of the 11-member executive council of the National Salvation Front, told the daily newspaper Le Figaro that the enthusiasm of the firing squad reflected the popular support for the Dec. 25 execution.

″I can tell you that when the firing squad was formed, the officer in command asked for five soldiers to step forward and prepare to fire. The squad was made up of 80 men. All fired at the same moment. They found 120 bullet holes in the bodies of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu,″ Brucan said in the interview, published Monday.

Some Western nations criticized the new Romanian leaders for conducting the trial of the Ceausescus in secret. Parts of the trial later were shown on state television.

Brucan said the leaders of Romania’s revolution would have prefered to hold a public trial, ″but in the context of Dec. 24, that was utopic.″

″That Sunday was the most dangerous for the Romanian revolution,″ he said, recalling in the interview that the state Securitate was on the offensive and had attacked the TV station.

″We thought there was a risk of the Securitate attacking the barracks where Ceausescu and his wife were being detained. If they had been freed and retaken by their men, it would have been a bloodbath in Romania,″ Brucan told the newspaper.

He added that after it was announced that Ceausescu was dead and state TV showed pictures of his body, ″the unity of the Securitate began to fall apart.″

Brucan said about 10,000 people died during the violence in December, but that life has begun to return to normal. But, he added, it could be many years before the country achieved democracy and the kind of open political system hoped for by his countrymen.

″Our people should learn democracy, and us as well, we should learn to govern democratically,″ he told the newspaper. ″In 10 years, social life will achieve an equalibrium. But for democracy, it will take 20 years. In any case, that is my opinion.″

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