New adjournment in the Colectiv fire case almost two years after the tragedy

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The magistrates of the Bucharest Tribunal have ruled on Monday to adjourn the hearing in the Colectiv case that should have decided if the Romanian state would be called as guarantor for the payment of the damages. Several people are on trial in this case, among whom the owners of the former Colectiv nightclub and former District 4 mayor, Cristian Popescu Piedone.

“A new adjournment, the rest was just show. We have been debating this for two months. They say they have no interpreter (…) I cannot imagine the largest tribunal in the country does not have an interpreter. Probably an endless adjournment is wanted,” said Eugen Iancu, the father of Alexandru, one of the youngsters who died in the blaze.

Judges have set a new hearing on November 20, claiming a lack of procedure for the adjournment on Monday.

“After two years, the judiciary system has no answer, no outcome yet. Those who are more or less guilty are free, they do what they want, while our children are buried. It’s not about compensations here. We don’t have our hearts set on asking compensations, we want the people who made mistakes to be punished and (…) something to change in the healthcare system. There hasn’t been any change in the healthcare for 2 years. At present, there is no bed, no specialist, no seat for the burnt. There are 600 burnt people in Romania on average per year, with 70% of them dying due to improper conditions in Romania,” said Jean Chelba, father of Alexandru Chelba, also dead on the Colectiv fire.

On the other hand, the lawyers of the Colectiv club owners say that delay of the trial is also due to the way the file had been instrumented by the prosecutors.

On September 11, the National Anti-corruption Directorate asked that the state should be introduced in the Colectiv file, namely that the Finance Ministry should be subpoenaed as representative. The anti-corruption prosecutors claimed that the state, through the Finance Ministry must guarantee the payment of the damages required by the injured and by the successors of the dead.

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