Former Gendarmerie head, named first deputy chief. The gendarmes’ “conductor” heard at the Prosecutor’s Office. Another suspect in the weapon theft case, on remand

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Former head of the Romanian Gendarmerie (Romania’s Riot Police), Sebastian Cucoş, has been appointed as first deputy general inspector of the same institution, the Interior Ministry has announced on Thursday. The rook at the helm of the Romanian Riot Police comes after controversies over the gendarmes’ violent intervention against protesters during the Diaspora rally in Bucharest on August 10.

The decision also comes after Interior Minister Carmen Dan has repeatedly stated that the way gendarmes intervened in the Victoriei Square that night has been prompted by the violent actions against them.

The term of Sebastian Cucoş at the helm of the Gendarmerie has expired on August 15 and he has been appointed interim twice so far.

Cucoş has been delegated by the Interior minister to be acting head for six months in August last year, after the former chief, brigade general Marin Andreiana had retired, and after this mandate expired, he was given another interim one.

Right after the August 10 protest, Interior Minister sent to the Presidency the documents asking that Cucos’ mandate should be extended, but President Iohannis postponed the appointment until the investigation on the violence during the Diaspora rally is concluded.

Starting August 15, First Deputy General Inspector of the Romanian Gendarmerie, Colonel Ionuţ Cătălin Sindile, has been appointed interim Chief of the Gendarmerie.

Chief of Special Brigade, heard

Catalin Paraschiv, the head of the Special Brigade of the Gendarmerie, the one dressed in white civilian clothes who coordinated the gendarmes’ intervention on the scene during the Diaspora protest, has been heard by the prosecutors on Thursday. Pictured in the mass media as giving orders to the gendarmes during their intervention that night, like a conductor directing his band, Paraschiv came to the Prosecutor’s Office to be heard in the file as a witness.

Asked by the journalists is he is assuming the fact that he might be criminally liable, he replied:

I won’t make any statements (…) I assumed the risk when I led my men without any problem. I won’t grant any interview (…),” he said on his way out.

Also questioned if the gendarmes’ aggression has been justified, he said: “I f you saw me being aggressive….”

651 criminal complaints filed against gendarmes so far. Another suspect in the weapon theft case, on remand

The Prosecutor’s Office upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice has announced that 651 criminal complaints have been filed until Thursday, following violent actions reported during the Diaspora protest in August 10.

Prosecutors from the Supreme Court also said that activities to identify the people involved in committing violent actions are ongoing.

Meanwhile, investigators have advanced with the case of the weapon theft during the protest. The Police’s Homicide Department has identified two more people suspected of hitting the woman gendarme and her colleague and of stealing her pistol. The police officers have searched the suspects’ houses this morning, while the Bucharest prosecutors have decided to place one of them under remand.

A man from Ilfov has been already arrested in this case, with his defender saying he is willing to cooperate with the investigators.

Early this week, the Bucharest Police announced that the weapon stolen from the woman gendarme beaten during the Diaspora protest had been found.

The weapon was found in the area of Petrachioia locality in Ilfov county, near Bucharest, after the suspect had been taken on the scene and had indicated the precise spot where he had buried the gun. Investigators say he shot two bullets with it.

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