Riot Police coordinator during Diaspora rally: I apologize to all who suffered. Bucharest Prefect was on the scene. Decision to intervene was made at around 20:00h

Laurentiu Cazan, the coordinator of the gendarmes during the Diaspora rally on August 10, has made the first public statement about the Riot Police’s intervention  on Thursday. He apologized to all people who had to suffer „for no reason” following the police force’s intervention, underlining he has not taken any decision regarding a potential resignation and that he has nothing to reproach to himself.

I apologize to all those who had to suffer for no reason following the Gendarmerie’s intervention and I accept such cases might have existed. Such situations are punctually analysed (…) I assume all that happened in the square,” to told TVR 1.

The coordinator of the gendarmes’ troops also said that Bucharest prefect, Speranta Cliseru, had been at the command center at the Government right from the start of the protest meeting and that the decision to give gendarmes the order to intervene against protesters had been taken three hours before the Special Brigade had intervened in force and before having cleared up the square.

I have  been in permanent contact with the public authorities, including with the prefect, who has been on the spot since early 4 p.m. When I saw things start degenerating, that pressure was mounting, I have personally talked to the prefect and I told her that if things degenerate, if the pressure doesn’t stop, we’ll end up restoring the public order in the area. She said she is ready to intervene to restore the public order,” Laurentiu Cazan said.

“The decision was made at around 20:00h. There are operative documents, they can be checked,” Laurențiu Cazan added.

He further explained that violence against the riot police had been gradually mounted, and decisions had been also taken gradually. “It has been a fantastic pressure right from the start,” he argued.

According to him, 1,000 gendarmes were deployed and took action in Victoriei Square on August 10, and that backup from other regions was requested. However, the military prosecutor who is investigating the case, Ionel Corbu, said there had been over 160 gendarmes acting during the Diaspora rally.

On the other hand, Laurentiu Cazan, said that a military prosecutor, who was om duty that day, was present at the meeting until 4 a.m., in the area where the Gendarmerie’s unit was also deployed. “I considered it would be better the prosecutor should be present on the scene and see the entire action plan of the riot police, we have nothing to hide,” the gendarmes’ coordinator explained.

Questioned if he is going to resign, he replied: „I am thinking of all options, but I feel no pressure. I had no pressure over me. I haven’t taken any decision yet.”

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