Bucharest mayor files criminal complaint for spreading false news about storm in the Capital last week

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Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea has filed a criminal complaint to the Bucharest Court of Appeal on Thursday against the people who have spread fake news on September 20 when the weather forecasters had issued a Code Yellow alert for storms in the Capital.

The Bucharest City Hall said in a press release that “false information have been spread on various channels (SMS, whatsApp, social media) on September 20, warning that the weather phenomena would be more serious than officially announced, which generated panic among Bucharesters”.

Mayor Gabriela Firea asked for in rem investigation for spreading false information, a felony that is stipulated and sanctioned in the article 404 from the Criminal Code.

Firea argued she had observed the Prefecture’s requests to take actions to limit risks that could affect the population. She explained that by taking those measures she wanted to properly and promptly inform the population about the alerts released by the weather forecasters.

“Concretely, I have asked all institutions under the city hall’s authority to take proper actions to protect the life and goods of the citizens. Despite this, several alarming messages have been spread in the public space, pointing to a situation much more serious than presented by the authorities (…) At the same time, the population was advised on social media to stock up-bread, milk, water and there were also false information that the general mayor decided to close several malls,” says the city hall’s release.

The mayor’s complaint also says that “these activities have led to undermining the confidence in the state institutions and to creating confusion and panic”.

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