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Jurnalul.ro Vechiul site Old site English Version Born on the 4th of July

Born on the 4th of July

de Violeta Fotache    |    Larisa Neagoe    |    03 Feb 2006   •   00:00
Born on the 4th of July

Teo Peter’s sun is born on the 4th of July. He says the American dream has always been in his heart, but now he faces a sudden awakening. America has fully proved it is the country of all possibilities. They say his father’s killer is not guilty…

Yesterday, Teo Peter Jr. said that during the year that passed since his father’s death (the 4th of December), until the final sentence was pronounced, he didn’t receive any help from the authorities, no one had asked him whether he needed help for the trial, and he had to find information about the investigation on his own.


"We checked on the internet, at "Stars and Stripes", and took our information from there. During the trial, we have never been contacted by the Romanian or American authorities", Teo Peter Jr. stated. The son of the Romanian musician thinks him, or any other member of his family, should have been allowed to take part in the trial, but it wasn’t possible. Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated a few days ago that the Government would support Teo Peter’s family financially in order for them to start another trial against the soldier in the American Courts of Law. The son of the bass player knows that it would have been a lot better if the authorities had been interested in the Teo Peter case and that it is almost impossible to win such a trial. However, the bitterness of the fact that the image of his father as he remained in the minds of all the Romanians is badly influenced by this is much greater than any resentment. So is his wish to show the world the Romanians are important as well. "We will accept the offered help. We have to do something. Our dignity is in stake. Unfortunately, it is true that the doors are almost closed at present", Teo Peter Jr. said.


He admitted that, even though the Romanian authorities have been saying in public during the past three days that they would help him, the family of the bass player from Cluj is yet to be contacted by an official and they need immediate counseling in International law. Teo Peter’s son thinks it would have been a lot better if the Romanian authorities had a firmer reaction when Christopher van Goethem was taken out of Romania. "I recently took a look at some images. Everyone was scared because a car of the USA embassy had been involved in the accident. The Police officer looked so scared. On one hand, it didn’t seem a natural attitude, but, if you think at the fear during the communist regime… You know, I am born on the 4th of July. The American dream has always been in my heart. I have suddenly woken up to see the cruel reality. There is something we need to change…"


Octavian Paler: "Like any other Romanian, I also have this feeling of dander when I look at the way the American justice > the case of Teo Peter’s killer. However, I don’t think that Mr. Basescu is the most entitled person to show his resentments towards this ugly story. Everyone knows our President’s extremely fawning position towards Washington. Why does he wonder about the disdain now? Let’s remember that Romania hurried to sign a treaty with America, a treaty that other European countries refused: it referred exactly to the immunity of such criminal soldiers. Moreover, I don’t understand the statement of Mr. Basescu on TV when he said he "will not tolerate" the sentence given by the American justice. How will he not tolerate? If Mr. Basescu wants to prove us that he understands the disdain in this sentence, he should order the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq".

Citizen Teo Peter, the Stone on Romania’s Neck

The Romanian authorities might teach others about the ways to bereave its citizens of the due respect while bragging about doing everything for them. Their indolence, carelessness and servility towards the USA "partner" led to the fact that the truth about the death of famous bass player of Compact, Teo Peter, is different for each of the two worlds: USA and Romania.

For the Romanians, Christopher van Goethem is the "road-killer", However, the Americans see the Sergeant of the Military Marine, the US citizen, not guilty.


For one year, institutions like the Minister of Justice or the Minister of External Affairs, Government, Presidency, the Romanian Embassy in the USA, did not show any interest in this case. The family of the Romanian citizen killed because of the American didn’t exist for the authorities. No counseling, no sign of support. Everyone said we should trust the American Justice. However, no one concerned about the fact that the Americans should listen to all the Romanian witnesses, which would have helped the prosecutors a lot. When the Martial Court pronounced its sentence, all the politicians suddenly started to care. This is the explanation for the overnight wish of erasing the "disdain" towards the Romanians, like Mr. Basescu, or for the intention to help the family fight on their own, like PM Tariceanu. It doesn’t matter that for almost one year there haven’t been any measures taken against this "disdainish" sentence. It doesn’t matter that the lawsuit might be a real nightmare for the family of Teo Peter, because the politicians and the heads of the public institutions that brag now about trying to find solutions have their image taken care of, in a good way.


The Minister of Justice says the "saving" solution is for the family to start a lawsuit in Romania or in the USA. The American experts let it fall that this would be a nightmare for Teo Peter’s family. Razvan Radu, director of the International Law Department in the Minister of Justice, explained yesterday that a confusion has been made in the case of the American Marine. The bilateral agreement regarding the situation of the USA military forces in Romania, signed in Washington on the 30th of October 2001, does not apply in the Van Goethem case, because "even if he is a Marine, in Romania, he was part of the technical-administrative personnel of the Embassy and he benefits from the terms of the Vienna Convention". "In both agreements, the penal jurisdiction immunity is brought about, but the difference is that in the first case, article III, 3rd paragraph, says the Romanian authorities can denounce the agreement in special cases, for extreme facts", Razvan Radu told us. He appreciated that a lawsuit in the USA might be difficult, because the penal sentence of murder acquittal matters and it depends a lot on the things written in the sentence’s file. "If he is acquitted because there is no crime, then there are not many chances in a lawsuit, if the acquittal is because of inconclusive proofs, there might be a glimmer of hope".

Translation by Sorin Balan