Ceausescu execution ‘avoided mob lynching’

Twenty years ago Romania underwent a week-long revolution, leading to the overthrow of leader Nicolae Ceausescu. The BBC’s Nick Thorpe speaks to one of the key figures during those times – General Victor Stanculescu.

In chequered shirt and dark brown jacket, Gen Victor Stanculescu looks frail but as straight-backed as one would expect from a retired soldier.

We meet in the prison hospital club at Jilava, just north of Bucharest, where only last year he began serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated manslaughter.

He was found guilty of ordering troops to open fire on the crowds in the western Romanian city of Timisoara on 17 and 18 December – a charge he has always denied.

Outside in the prison yard it is bitterly cold, minus 7C.

There are watch towers, rows of barbed wire, and stray dogs inside the prison compound.


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