General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu died on Sunday in an asylum at the age of 88. “General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu died at 18:30 in an asylum in Saftica, Ilfov county (near Bucharest),” said his lawyer Catalin Dancu. He had suffered a stroke several weeks ago and since then he had serious health problems.
His body will be incinerated on Tuesday.
Stanculescu was among the high-ranking military officials sentenced to prison in the Revolution file.
He was the deputy defense minister on December 17,1989 when he was sent by ex-communist Defense minister Vasile Milea to Timisoara to suppress the Revolution. Former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was very content with his activity so he appointed him unique military commander of Timisoara. Back in Bucharest on December 21-22, he went to the Military Hospital where he discretely asked the hospital’s commander, a friend of his, to plaster one leg in order to avoid being further involved in the Revolution’s repression.
Meanwhile, the Defense Minister Vasile Milea killed himself on December 22 and Ceausescu named Stanculescu to be Milea’s successor. Stanculescu served as Defense minister until 1991.
However, in 1990 a governmental committee investigating the 1989 events proposed that Victor Stanculescu should be prosecuted for repressing the Revolution, but it was only in 1997 that this thing actually happened. In 1999, Stanculescu was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Supreme Court for capital murder, a conviction that was reconfirmed in 2000 following the appeal.
In 2003, Victor Stanculescu’s wife killed herself by jumping off the second floor of the house where they lived. Before committing suicide, the woman wrote a note explaining her action and a testament letter where she revealed details on the family’s wealth. In her note she unveiled she was denouncing those 14 years of trials that her family had to go through.
After serving only 5 years in prison, Stanculescu was released on parole on May 20, 2014. One year later, the European Court of Human Rights denied Stanculescu and Mihai Chitac’s complaint related to alleged irregularities in the trial.