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Report Ceausescu’s Brother to Stand Trial in Killings

February 28, 1990

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ The brother of Nicolae Ceausescu will stand trial in the shooting deaths of seven people during anti-government riots that led to the overthrow of the Communist dictator, it was reported Wednesday.

In an interview with the independent daily newspaper Adevarul, Prosecutor General Gheorghe Robu said Nicolae Andruta Ceausescu, a lieutenant general in the Securitate secret police, would stand trial for the shooting deaths, which occurred in front of the former Communist Party headquarters Dec. 21, a day before his brother was toppled.

The Securitate officially was disbanded in the days following the revolution. On the day of the confrontation, Nicolae Andruta Ceausescu had under his command 1,000 Securitate officers, armed with 350,000 bullets, Adevarul quoted Robu as saying.

″He tried to convince the officers to shoot, but they would not, even when he threatened them with the execution,″ Robu said. ″Witnesses confirm that he ran around shouting at his men, ’Shoot them, kill these dogs.‴

The daily quoted one of Ceausescu’s men as saying: ″He ran among us shouting like a wild animal, but no one actually believed he would shoot these young people. He did this with a cruelty that I wouldn’t have expected.″

The dictator’s son, Nicu, a former Communist Party regional secretary, and daughter, Zoia-Elena, a former mathematics researcher, also are awaiting trial on various charges. The newspaper gave no trial dates.

News of the pending trials was made public as Romania and its historic rival, Hungary, agreed to set up an exchange program for military officers and cadets to try to lessen tensions.

In a communique, the nations also agreed to create a commission ″to resolve historical disputes between the two countries.″

The neighbors have been at odds for centuries over Transylvania, now part of Romania but ruled for centuries by Hungary. Tensions in recent years have focused on mistreatment of Romania’s Hungarian minority under Ceausescu, and disagreements have resurfaced after the revolution.

The accords followed a visit by Hungarian Defense Minister Ferenc Karpati, who met his Romanian counterpart Victor Anastase Stanculescu and Premier Petre Roman on improving bilateral relations.

In a news conference at the Hungarian Embassy, Stanculescu thanked Hungary for ″being the first country to ... offer (its) help to the Romanian army, which supported the revolution.″

Also Wednesday, the official Rompres news agency published a Defense Ministry breakdown on the makeup of the Securitate.

The ministry said the new security organization being set up would not be used for repression or intimidation.

The composition and fate of the Securitate has been a major question since the uprising, with the belief that it continues to exist. Publication of the Defense Ministry statistics appeared to be an attempt to dispel those fears.

″The newly created bodies will not carry out repressive actions in any situation,″ the statement said.

The statement, issued in the name of Stanculescu, asserted that the new agency, which he has likened to the FBI in the United States, would not ″listen to or watch people in order to intimidate them or to satisfy the interests of certain parties or political formations.″

More than 3,575 security personnel have been suspended and others are being investigated, the Defense Ministry said. About 15,000 officers worked full- time for Securitate, and tens of thousands of informers also were on the payroll.

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