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Jurnalul.ro Vechiul site Old site English Version The Ceausescu "Beyzades": From Genocide to the Fortunes’ Recovery

The Ceausescu "Beyzades": From Genocide to the Fortunes’ Recovery

de Vasile Surcel    |    04 Aug 2006   •   00:00
The Ceausescu "Beyzades": From Genocide to the Fortunes’ Recovery

The lawsuit in Targoviste gave a quick and simple solution for the old Ceausescus. In exchange, the still unclear situation of the descendants of the "Odious and Lady Grim" risks to get the Romanian state in front of the international Courts of Law once again.

The "Juniors’" Lawsuits

The lawsuit in Targoviste gave a quick and simple solution for the old Ceausescus. In exchange, the still unclear situation of the descendants of the "Odious and Lady Grim" risks to get the Romanian state in front of the international Courts of Law once again.

The feint-like process on the 25th of December 1989 in Targoviste took Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu out of the history very fast. The indictment at the base of the accusations of genocide, which caused the death of more than 60,000 people, as well as the ones regarding their banking accounts in other countries, is the only legal proof of that day. It has been a more than simple lawsuit in which the defense lawyer accused his clients more than the prosecutors, and the execution took place immediately without following all the procedures that are so discussed upon at present. Afterwards, it was proven that no accusations had been valid. However, it didn’t matter at all. After the Revolution, the new Power arrested the representatives of the communist elite as well as the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Ceausescu.


The arrest of Nicu, who was brought on the National TV Station set right after he had been stabbed and having a lot of blood on him, followed by the ones of Valentin and Zoe Ceausescu have probably been the "hottest" episodes of the "Revolution Live". When the situation calmed down, they have all been accused of extremely serious crimes and sent to jail. Nicu was accused of genocide. Valentin and Zoe were accused of having undermined the national economy. Instead of the real juridical proofs, the image of the "golden balance" found in Zoe’s house as well as the one of the golden faucets stood to prove the fact the beyzades (Turkish term for "Prince") had really robbed the national economy. Even though it wasn’t the fairest thing to do, the sequestration of the fortune of the three seemed like an act of justice at that time. However, in the following years, the same justice hasn’t been able to prove the guiltiness of either of the three defendants. Paula Iacob, Nicu’s lawyer says that, in 1990, Corneliu Coposu himself stated: "How is it possible to arrest the Ceausescu children for the crimes of their parents, just because they are their children?! This is a great act of injustice".


Valentin Ceausescu is the one that says he will file a complaint against the Romanian state at the European Court for the Human Rights. Arrested on the 24th of December 1989, he was investigated for accessory to undermining the national economy after the 24th of January 1990. He was also accused of "pulling rank against the interests of several people". He wants to go to ECHR to complain about the way the prosecutors had treated him at that time. There is one simple reason for that: the authorities had amnestied the crime he had been accused of, undermining the national economy, on the 9th of January 1990. In August 1990, Valentin was freed. Afterwards, the authorities acquitted him of the accessory to undermining the national economy, and the investigation regarding the other accusation stopped in 1996. Both the sentences lead to one conclusion: Valentin Ceausescu was kept behind bars for eight months for nothing. This proves that, at that time, the prosecutors didn’t quite follow the procedural "subtleties", which is not different than the present situation. These are minor subtleties at first sight, but Romania could receive another conviction from ECHR due to them. The final decisions said Valentin Ceausescu would also receive his fortune back, after it has been sequestered in December 1989. This is mostly about art pieces, paintings, valuable china and little statues, which would value approximately 2 billion lei (ROL) at present. Most of these pieces are under the custody of the National Art Museum, which will only give them back after it will receive a Court Order saying it should do it.


The incoherence of the after-the-Revolution justice is proven once again by the case of Nicu Ceausescu. At first, he was accused of "genocides". His lawsuit started on the 26th of May 1990 and ended on the 21st of September, when Nicu was sentenced to 20 years in jail. He wasn’t accused of "genocides" anymore, but of instigation to murder, and he received five more years for breaking the guns and ammunition law. On the 3rd of June 1991, during another level of the lawsuit, he was sentenced to 16 years. After he has been sent to Court on the accusation of "genocides", on the 20th of November 1992, Nicu Ceausescu was finally convicted to five years for…breaking the guns and ammunition law. He was later set free on probation, due to medical reasons. On the 26th of September 1996, the Ceausescu cadet died in a hospital in Vienna. When it was brought back in the country, the body of the man once accused of "genocides" was buried with military honors, and his coffin was rapped in the national flag.


Zoe Ceausescu and her husband, Mircea Opran, have also been arrested in December 1989, under the accusation of "undermining the national economy". Moreover, the prosecutors have also demanded and obtained the sequestration of their fortune. Both of them were freed in August 1990. While they were in jail, after an official decision signed by Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman, their house, with all the things inside it, got to the UNITER association. During the following years, Zoe fought to get her house back with the help of justice. They had a lot of jewelry, paintings and books, some of them very old, with patrimony value. At a certain moment in time, Zoe’s lawyer stated that the actors that "visited" UNITER had taken some of her personal goods, and the other part went to the people that were supposed to guard the house. Afterwards, Zoe and her husband managed to get back some of their books at UNITER. However, the paintings have all remained under the custody of the National Art Museum.

Translated by Sorin Balan
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