Former Securitate agents accused of torturing and killing anti-communist dissident acquitted

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The Bucharest Court of Appeal has acquitted on Thursday two of the former Securitate officers accused of crimes against humanity in the file of anti-communist dissident Gheorghe Ursu. The court has revised their legal categorisation in inhuman treatments. The ruling is not final and can be challenged by appeal to the High Court.

The court has also left unsolved the civil trial, as the it lifted the sanction of seizure of the defendants’ assets.

Military prosecutors sent to the court the file regarding the death of dissident Gheorghe Ursu three years ago, with 4 people being indicted for crimes against humanity and complicity to crimes against humanity, in regard to the repressive actions against Ursu during the communist regime.

The four charged with crimes against humanity in the Ursu file were: Marin Parvulescu (Major in reserve) and Vasile Hodis (Colonel in reserve), former officers with the 6th Directorate for Criminal Investigations of the Securitate, Gheorghe Homosteanu, former Minister of Interior and Tudor Postelnicu, former head of Securitate, both being charged of complicity to crimes against humanity.

Gheorghe Ursu died in the custody of Capital’s Militia, in 1985, having been systematically beaten by the investigators and by his cellmates.

Vasile Hodiş, former Securitate officer, was accused of having beaten Ursu to death, after being arrested and investigated for sending letters to Radio Free Europe and for keeping a diary where he used to criticise the horrors of the communist regime.

Witnesses later reported that Marin Pârvulescu, also ex-Securitate agent, was also among those who had beaten Ursu.

During the last court hearing, prosecutors asked for 25 years in prison for Goldis and Parvulescu, mentioning that they would have asked for life imprisonment if the defendants had been under 60 years old.

As for the Tudor Postelnicu, former head of Securitate, he died during trial.

In this case, the plaintiffs, the heirs of Gheorghe Ursu are asking for compensations from the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Finance.

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