First sentences in the Colectiv file: Ex-mayor Piedone-8 years and half in prison, owners of the club -11 years and 8 months, firefighters – 9 years and 2 months

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Bucharest Tribunal has pronounced on Monday the first sentences in the Colectiv file. Former District 4 mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone has been sentenced to 8 years and a half in prison, and the three owners of the Colectiv club, Anastasescu George Alin, Mincu Costin and Gancea Paul-Cătălin – 11 years and 8 months in prison each. Maximum sentences were also given to the two firefighters  who checked the club- 9 years and 2 months in prison, Radu Antonina and Matei George-Petrică.

At the same time, Colectiv SRL and Golden Ideas Fireworks Artists SRL were sentenced to pay RON 4.7 million as compensations to the victims.

The ruling is not final and can be challenged by appeal.

Bucharest Tribunal had postponed the first sentence in the high-sounding Colectiv file on December 9 to December 16. During the last hearing, prosecutors asked for maximum prison sentences for those 13 defendants, meaning from 12 to 15 years behind bars for each of them.

A deadly fire burst out on October 30, 2015 in the Colectiv nightclub during a rock concert killed 64 people and mutilated other 150.

Other sentences

Iofciu Aurelia – employee District 4 city hall – 8 years in prison
Ganea Luminiţa Larisa – superior adviser District 4 city hall – 7 years in prison
Moţoc Sandra Ramona – superior referee District 4 city hall- 3 years on probation

Niţă Daniela Ioana – owner fireworks company- 12 years and 8 months in prison
Niţă Cristian Mihai owner fireworks company  – 3 years and 6 months in prison

Zaharia Viorel – bomb tech – 9 years and 8 months in prison;
Moise Marian – bomb tech- 10 years in prison.

The court also ruled that the families of the victims and the ones who managed to survive the deadly fire in Colectiv must receive compensations worth over EUR 50 million. At the same time, over 8 million euros will go the hospitals in Romania and abroad for the hospitalization expenses and for the transport of the victims. The court sentenced that all defendants must be jointly liable to pay these compensations.

One of the owners of the Colectiv club, Costin Mincu has said the sentence is ‘unfair’, announcing he will challenge the ruling to the Court of Appeal, arguing that judges had not taken into account all evidence. Mincu will also ask that the prosecutor’s office experts should be also heard.

He also said that, although this trial started four years ago, it practically lasted 14 months, from the moment the first judge retired and the new prosecutor Balanescu took over the case and gave the ruling. “A file with such a high amplitude cannot be solved in 14 months,” he argued.

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