Court rules that Colectiv club owners should be placed under house arrest

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The District 4 Court on Friday ruled that the owners of ‘Colectiv’ nightclub, taken on remand since early November, should be investigated under house arrest. The decision is not yet final, so Alin Anastasescu, Paul Gancea and Costin Mincu will stay behind bars until the court rules a final decision. The court practivally dismissed the request made by the prosecutors upon the Supreme Court to extend the pre-trial detention for the three owners, who are charged with manslaughter in the case of the November 30 deadly blaze that claimed 60 lives and left almost 150 injured.

Three days ago, the General Prosecutor’s Office informed Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu that their good had been seized and that criminal prosecution against them had been extended, due to the death toll that climbed to 60, according to latest statistics.

Prosecutors say the Colectiv fire occurred due to the fact that the persons who managed the location encouraged and allowed a too large number of persons in the club while the location hadn’t more emergency exits. They are also charged with allowing a fireworks show inside the club although the club’s ceiling and pillars were made of hazardous materials despite legal provisions and to avoid extra costs.

Firemen spring to suspended boss’ defend

On the other hand, firemen in Bucharest took up the cudgels for one of the suspended chiefs of the Bucharest Inspectorate for Emergency Situations. Orlando Schiopu, suspended from the first deputy head of ISU Bucharest position, is defended by his colleagues, who say that he had been saving lives in the Colectiv fire on the night of October 30 and that he is more like a workfield man than an office clerk.

“Schiopu is a fireman hardened in the flames of the numerous fires he participated in during his 23-year rescuer career. Those who had the chance to work with firemen know that there are persons among them whose great love is “EXTINCTION”. Well, Schiopu is one of these persons,” reads an article featured in the “Firemen Agenda” magazine on Friday.

The firemen also say about their former boss that “though a commander, the image of a tidy man behind a desk doesn’t describe him.”

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