Ex-riot police leaders, sent to court in the “August 10” File, 5 years after the violence of the Diaspora protest

16 gendarmes, including the former leadership of the Romanian Gendarmerie (riot police), were sent to court in the “August 10” case, 5 years after the violence of the Diaspora protest on August 10, 2018. More than 300 participants in the huge protest are demanding moral and material damages in this case.

The General Prosecutor’s Office sued the heads of the Gendarmerie at that time, as well as other employees of the institution, in the August 10 File, for crimes such as abuse of office, intellectual forgery and abusive behavior.

The August 10 file – one of the great failures of justice in Romania – was opened by prosecutors in 2018, closed by DIICOT in 2020 and reopened last spring, following a protester’s appeal.

In May, new Attorney General Alex Florenta said the investigation would be completed by the fall of this year. The announcement of the General Prosecutor’s Office comes two days before five years have passed since the repression of the demonstration in Piața Victoriei.

The ones indicted: CAZAN LAURENȚIU VALENTIN, CUCOȘ GHEORGHE SEBASTIAN, SINDILE IONUȚ CĂTĂLIN, CIOBANU LAURENȚIU CRISTIAN, POPESCU CĂTĂLIN RĂZVAN, ZĂVOIANU MARIAN ION,DUMITRU ADRIAN COSTEL, MOLDOVEANU LUCA FLORIN, MIHAI MARIUS DANIEL, BELECCIU ALIN, BÎRSAN MARIAN CRISTIAN, BOLAT CRISTIAN, BUZATU GEORGE,  CARMOCANU FLOREA, CUSTRIN BARDAHAN PAVEL, ZAMFIR GEORGE CONSTANTIN.

“On August 10, 2018, at 11:11 p.m., on the occasion of the protest rally that took place in Piața Victoriei in the city of Bucharest, col. Cazan Laurențiu Valentin, as the commander of the action, as well as the defendants Cucoș Gheorghe Senastian, and Sindile Ionuț Cătălin, as coordinators of the same action, performed their duties improperly and ordered the subordinate gendarmes, in violation of the legal provisions, the intervention by force in order to disperse the entire mass of protesters present in Piața Victoriei (approximately 30,000 people), an intervention that they later led,” prosecutors say.

The actions of the defendants had the consequences of restricting the freedom of assembly and the right to physical and mental integrity of the demonstrators present in Piața Victoriei, fundamental rights provided by the Romanian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as well as causing physical suffering or injuries which required between 1 and 50 days of medical care to cure a number of 433 people.

From the investigations carried out in the case, it emerged that the forceful intervention of the gendarmes was done in violation of the principles of necessity, gradualness and proportionality, principles enshrined in the legal regulations on the matter and reflected in the ECtHR jurisprudence.

Therefore, it was noted that the gendarmes acted not only against the people who demonstrated violently, in order to isolate them and apply legal measures, but also against the peaceful demonstrators, who constituted the vast majority of the protesters.

More precisely, the researches established that the military gendarmes used a total number of 63 hand grenades with an acoustic effect, 489 hand grenades with an irritating tear gas effect, 316 cartridges of 38 mm caliber during the execution of the respective mission. and 40 mm., also with tear irritant effect, 8 sprayers of increased capacity and 168 hand sprayers.

As for col. Cazan Laurentiu Valentin, the investigations carried out in the case established that, on August 11, 2018, being in the exercise of his duties, he drew up a preliminary action report, in which he attested to circumstances that were not true, in the sense that he mentioned that the prefect of the municipality Bucharest would have approved the forceful intervention of the military gendarmes on the demonstrators gathered in Piața Victoriei.

Regarding the other defendants, it emerged from the evidence administered in the case that, being in the exercise of his duties within the device for ensuring and restoring public order in Piața Victoriei, distinct from the forceful intervention order given by the first three previously mentioned defendants, they facilitated the use of physical force and technical means from the endowment or used them against some protesters unjustifiably, causing them physical suffering and/or bodily injuries that required between 1 and 50 days of medical care to heal”.

5 yearsdiasporagendarmerieleadersprotestrepressionriot policesent to courttear gasviolence
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