Criminal complaints against ex-PM Ponta, ex-Health minister Banicioiu and Raed Arafat in the Colectiv case


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The parents of two youngsters who died in the Colectiv fire last year, Eugen Iancu and Jean Chelba, filed criminal complaints at the General Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday morning against the head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, against former Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu and against former PM Victor Ponta.

We want the investigations to go on. We have trials, we have investigations on what happened at the Colectiv club’s door, on who is to blame and why it caught fire. We want to go on with the investigations, our children died in hospitals, they died because of the treatment, because of the denial to be sent abroad. We see now that a former minister back then says he is a dentist, he didn’t know what to do, other doctors advised him (…) Our complaint is against all those who acted after the fire. The intervention was a catastrophe, as you well know, the authorities’ denial to send the patients abroad. Our children died because of the conditions in the hospital and because incompetence,” said Eugen Iancu, the father of a 22-year-old man who died in hospital due to serious burns.

Retorting to the criminal complaint, former premier Victor Ponta said that if he is guilty for the dead people in the Colectiv case, then PM Dacian Ciolos is guilty of the deaths in the car crash on A2 highway on Saturday.

It means that Mr. Ciolos is also to blame for the death of those who passed away on the highway. I resigned, I assumed the political responsibility (…) The rest is for the justice to decide, but I would like to not go in for politics on the death of some people,” Ponta said on Tuesday.

In his turn, Raed Arafat said that anyone has the right to file a criminal complaint and the accountant has the right to claim his innocence. “We live in a democratic country where anyone can file a criminal complaint, while the accountant has the right to claim his innocence. The claimant and the investigators must prove the guilt. I am sure that tomorrow I will be on trial and convicted by several media representatives and by some <activists> on Facebook,” Arafat stated.

The Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea said last week that he has nothing to throw something back at Nicolae Banicioiu, former Health Minister when the tragedy occurred. Banicioiu used to say that his only contribution to the issue of the hyperbaric chamber from the Floreasca Hospital was that he had cut the ribbon.

64 people lost their lives after the fire in the Colectiv nightclub on October 30, 2015 during a rock concert performed by “Goodbye to Gravity” band. The fire blazed up due to some fireworks improperly used but also due to overcrowding and the lack of anti-fire equipment in the club, which also lacked a fire permit.

10 youngsters admitted to several hospitals in Bucharest died in just one day and another three in hospitals abroad after they had just been transferred. After those sudden deaths, more injured started being transferred abroad.

The authorities, among whom ex-Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu, had insisted that the burnt patients were getting everything they needed in the hospitals in Romania.

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