Communist dictator from 1965 - 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his wife and
second-in-command Elena, were prosecuted by the National Salvation Front
in a secret trial, held on a military base near Tirgoviste, Rumania, on
Christmas Day, December 25th 1989.
Gica Popa was the prosecutor.
are the officially reported transcripts.
is lies! All lies! Ceausescu lives!)
VOICE: A glass of water!
CEAUSESCU: I only recognize the Grand National Assembly. I will only speak in front of it.
In the same way he refused to
hold a dialogue with the
people, now he also refuses to speak with us. He always claimed to
act and speak on behalf of the people, to be a beloved son of the
people, but he only tyrannized the people all the time. You are faced with charges that you held really sumptuous celebrations on all holidays at your house. The details are known.
two defendants procured the most luxurious foodstuffs and clothes from abroad. They were even worse than the king, the former king of Rumania. The people only received 200 grams per day, against an identity card. These two defendants have robbed the people, and not even today do they want to talk. They are cowards. We have data concerning both
I ask the chairman of the prosecutor's office to read the bill of indictment.
PROSECUTOR: Esteemed chairman of the court, today we have to
pass a verdict on the defendants Nicolae Ceausescu and Elena Ceausescu
who have committed the following offenses: Crimes against the people.
They carried out acts that are incompatible with human dignity and
social thinking; they acted in a despotic and criminal way; they
destroyed the people whose leaders they claimed to be. Because of
crimes they committed against the people, I plead, on behalf of the
victims of these two tyrants, for the death sentence for the two
defendants. The bill of indictment contains the following points:
Genocide, in accordance with Article 356 of the penal code.
Two: Armed attack on the people and the state power, in accordance with Article 163 of the penal code.
The destruction of buildings and state institutions, undermining of the national economy, in accordance with Articles 165 and 145 of the penal code. They obstructed the normal process of the economy.
Did you hear the charges? Have you understood them?
I do not answer, I will only answer questions before the Grand National
Assembly. I do not recognize this court. The charges are incorrect,
and I will not answer a single question here.
Note, he does not recognize the points mentioned in the bill of indictment.
I will not sign anything.
This situation is known. The catastrophic situation of the
country is known all over the world. Every honest citizen who worked
hard here until 22 December knows that we do not have medicines, that
you two have killed children and other people in this way, that there
is nothing to eat, no heating, no electricity.
NICOLAE CEAUSESCU and ELENA deny this.
Who ordered the bloodbath in Timisoara.
CEAUSESCU refuses to answer.
Who gave the order to shoot in
Bucharest, for instance?
I do not answer.
Who ordered shooting into the
crowd? Tell us!
ELENA (to Nicolae): Forget about them. You see, there is no use in
talking to these people.
Do you not know anything about the order to shoot?
Nicolae reacts with astonishment.
There is still shooting going on. Fanatics, whom you are
paying. They are shooting at children; they are shooting arbitrarily
into the apartments. Who are these fanatics? Are they the people,
or are you paying them?
I will not answer. I will not answer any question. Not a
single shot was fired in Palace Square. Not a single shot.
No one was
By now, there have been 34 casualties.
Look, and that they are calling genocide.
In all district capitals, which you grandly called
municipalities, there is shooting going on. The people were slaves.
The entire intelligentsia of the country ran away. No one wanted
do anything for you anymore.
SPEAKER: Mr. President, I would like to know something:
The accused should tell us who the mercenaries are. Who pays them?
And who brought them into the country?
Yes. Accused, answer.
I will not say anything more. I will only speak at the
Grand National Assembly.
whispers to CEAUSESCU.
Elena has always been talkative, but otherwise she does
not know much. I have observed that she is not even able to read
correctly, but she calls herself a university graduate.
The intellectuals of this country should hear you, you and
PROSECUTOR cites all academic titles she had always claimed to have.
The intelligentsia of the country will hear what you are
accusing us of.
Nicolae Ceausescu should tell
us why he does not answer
our questions. What prevents him from doing so?
I will answer any question, but only at the Grand National
Assembly, before the representatives of the working class. Tell the
people that I will answer all their questions. All the world should
know what is going on here. I only recognize the working class and
Grand National Assembly -- no one else.
The world already knows what has happened here.
I will not answer you putschists.
The Grand National Assembly has been dissolved.
This is not possible at all. No one can dissolve the
We now have another leading organ. The National Salvation
Front is now our supreme body.
No one recognizes that. That is why the people are fighting
all over the country. This gang will be destroyed. They organized
The people are fighting against you, not against the new
No, the people are fighting for freedom and against the new
forum. I do not recognize the court.
Why do you think that people are fighting today? What do
As I said before, the people are fighting for their freedom
and against this putsch, against this usurpation.
CEAUSESCU claimes the putsch was organized from abroad.
I do not recognize this court. I will not answer any more.
I am now talking to you as simple citizens, and I hope that you will
tell the truth. I hope that you do not also work for the foreigners
and for the destruction of Rumania.
The Prosecutor asks the Counsel for the defense to ask Ceausescu
whether he knows that he is no longer president of the country, and
that Elena Ceausescu has also lost all her official state functions,
and that the government has been dissolved. The Prosecutor wants
learn on what basis the trial may continue. It must be cleared up
whether Ceausescu wants to, should, must or can answer at all.
The situation is uncertain.
The Counsel for the defense, who was appointed by the court, asks
whether Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu know the aforementioned facts --
that he is no longer president, and that she has lost all official
I am the president of Rumania, and I am the commander-in-
chief of the Rumanian army. No one can deprive me of these functions.
But not of our army, you are not the commander in chief of
I do not recognize you. I am talking to you as simple
citizens at the least, as simple citizens, and I tell you, I am the
president of Rumania.
What are you really?
I repeat, I am the president of Rumania and the commander
in chief of the Rumanian army. I am the president of the people.
will not speak with you provocateurs anymore, and I will not speak
with the organizers of the putsch and with the mercenaries. I have
nothing to do with them.
Yes, but you are paying the mercenaries.
It is incredible what they are inventing, incredible.
Please, make a note. Ceausescu does not recognize the new
legal structures of power of the country. He still considers himself
to be the country's president and the commander in chief of the army.
Why did you ruin the country so much? Why did you export everything?
Why did you make the peasants starve? The produce which the peasants
grew was exported, and the peasants came from the most remote
provinces to Bucharest and to the other cities in order to buy bread.
They cultivated the soil in line with your orders and had nothing to
eat. Why did you starve the people?
I will not answer this question. As a simple citizen, I
tell you the following: for the first time I guaranteed that every
peasant received 200 kilograms of wheat per person, not per family,
and that he is entitled to more. It is a lie that I made the people
starve. A lie, a lie in my face. This shows how little patriotism
there is, how many treasonable offenses were committed.
You claim to have taken measures so that every peasant is
entitled to 200 kilograms of wheat. Why do the peasants then buy
bread in Bucharest?
The prosecutor quotes Ceausescu's program.
We have wonderful programs. Paper is patient. However, why
are your programs not implemented? You have destroyed the Rumanian
villages and the Rumanian soil. What do you say as a citizen?
As a citizen, as a simple citizen, I tell you the
following: at no point was there such an upswing, so much
construction, so much consolidation in the Rumanian provinces. I
guaranteed that every village has its schools, hospitals and doctors.
I have done everything to create a decent and rich life for the people
in the country, like in no other country in the world.
We have always spoken of equality. We are all equal.
Everybody should be paid according to his performance. Now we finally
saw your villa on television, the golden plates from which you ate,
the foodstuffs that you had imported, the luxurious celebrations,
pictures from your luxurious celebrations.
Incredible. We live in a normal apartment, just like every other
citizen. We have ensured an apartment for every citizen through
You had palaces.
No, we had no palaces. The palaces belong to the people.
The prosecutor agrees, but stresses that they lived in them while the
Children cannot even buy plain candy, and you are living
in the palaces of the people.
Is it possible that we are facing such charges?
Let us now talk about the accounts in Switzerland, Mr.
Ceausescu. What about the accounts?
Accounts in Switzerland? Furnish proof!
We had no account in Switzerland. Nobody has opened an
account. This shows again how false the charges are. What
what provocations! This was a coup d'etat.
Well, Mr. Defendant, if you had no accounts in Switzerland,
will you sign a statement confirming that the money that may be in
Switzerland should be transferred to the Rumanian state, the State Bank.
We will discuss this before the Grand National Assembly. I
will not say anything here. This is a vulgar provocation.
Will you sign the statement now or not?
No, no. I have no statement to
make, and I will not sign one.
Note the following: the defendant refuses to sign this
statement. The defendant has not recognized us. He also refuses
recognize the new forum.
I do not recognize this new forum.
So you know the new forum. You have information about it.
ELENA & NICOLAE:
Well, you told us about it. You told us about it
Nobody can change the state structures. This is not possible.
Usurpers have been punished severely during the past centuries in
Rumania's history. Nobody has the right to abolish the Grand National
PROSECUTOR (to Elena): You have always been wiser
and more ready to talk,
a scientist. You were the most important aide, the number two in
cabinet, in the government. Did you know about the genocide in Timisoara?
What genocide? By the way, I will not answer any more questions.
Did you know about the genocide or did you, as a chemist,
only deal with polymers? You, as a scientist, did you know about
papers were published abroad!
And who wrote the papers for you,
Such impudence! I am a member and the chairwoman of
the Academy of Sciences. You cannot talk to me in such a way!
That is to say, as a deputy prime minister you did not
know about the genocide? This is how you worked with the pwople and
exercised your functions! But who gave the order to shoot? Answer
I will not answer. I told you right at the beginning that I
will not answer a single question.
You as officers should know that
the government cannot give
the order to shoot. But those who shot at the young people were the
security men, the terrorists.
The terrorists are from Securitate.
The terrorists are from Securitate?
And who heads Securitate? Another question...
No, I have not given an answer. This was only information
for you as citizens.
I want to tell you as citizens that in Bucharest...
We are finished with you. You need not say anything else. The next
question is: How did General Milea [Vasile Milea, Ceausescu's Defense
Minister} die? Was he shot? And by whom?
Ask the doctors and the people, but not me!
I will ask you a counter-question. Why do you not put the question
like this: Why did General Milea commit suicide?
What induced him to commit suicide? You called him a traitor.
This was the reason for his suicide.
The traitor Milea committed suicide.
PROSECUTOR: Why did you not bring him to trial and have him sentenced?
CEAUSESCU: His criminal acts were only discovered after he had committed
PROSECUTOR: What were his criminal acts?
CEAUSESCU: He did not urge his unit to do their patriotic duty.
Ceausescu explains in detail that he only learned from his officers
that General Milea had committed suicide.
You have always been more talkative than your colleague.
However, she has always been at your side and apparently provided you
with the necessary information. However, we should talk here openly
and sincerely, as befits intellectuals. For, after all, both of you
are members of the Academy of Sciences.
Now tell us, please, what money was used to pay for your publications
abroad -- the selected works of Nicolae Ceausescu and the scientific
works of the so-called Academician Elena Ceausescu.
So-called, so-called. Now they have even taken away all our
Once again, back to General Milea. You said that he had not
obeyed your orders. What orders?
I will only answer to the Grand National Assembly. There I
will say in which way he betrayed his fatherland.
Please, ask Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu whether they have
ever had a mental illness.
What? What should he ask us?
Whether you have ever had a mental illness.
What an obscene provocation.
This would serve your defense. If you had had a mental
illness and admitted this, you would not be responsible for your acts.
How can one tell us something like this? How can one
say something like this?
I do not recognize this court.
You have never been able to hold a dialogue with the people.
You were not used to talking to the people. You held monologues and
people had to applaud, like in the rituals of tribal people. And
you are acting in the same megalomaniac way. Now we are making a
attempt. Do you want to sign this statement?
No, we will not sign. And I also do not recognize the
counsel for the defense.
Please, make a note: Nicolae Ceausescu refuses to
cooperate with the court-appointed counsel for the defense.
We will not sign any statement. We will speak only at the
National Assembly, because we have worked hard for the people all our
lives. We have sacrificed all our lives to the people. And
not betray our people here.
The court notes that the investigations have been concluded. Then
follows the reading of the indictment.
Mr. Chairman, we find the two accused guilty of having
committed criminal actions according to the following articles of the
penal code: Articles 162, 163, 165 and 357. Because of this
indictment, I call for the death sentence and the impounding of the
entire property of the two accused.
The counsel for the defense now takes the floor and instructs the
Ceausescus once again that they have the right to defense and that
they should accept this right.
FOR THE DEFENSE: Even though he -- like her -- committed
insane acts, we want to defend them. We want a legal trial. Only
president who is still confirmed in his position can demand to speak
at the Grand National Assembly. If he no longer has a certain
function, he cannot demand anything at all. Then he is treated like
a normal citizen. Since the old government has been dissolved and
Ceausescu has lost his functions, he no longer has the right to be
treated as the president. Please make a note that here it has been
stated that all legal regulations have been observed, that this is a
legal trial. Therefore, it is a mistake for the two accused to refuse
to cooperate with us. This is a legal trial, and I honor them by
At the beginning, Ceausescu claimed that it is a provocation to be
asked whether he was sick. He refused to undergo a psychiatric
examination. However, there is a difference between real sickness
must be treated and mental insanity which leads to corresponding
actions, but which is denied by the person in question. You have
in a very irresponsible manner; you led the country to the verge of
ruin and you will be convicted on the basis of the points contained in
the bill of indictment. You are guilty of these offenses even if
do not want to admit it. Despite this, I ask the court to make a
decision which we will be able to justify later as well. We must
allow the slightest impression of illegality to emerge. Elena and
Nicolae Ceausescu should be punished in a really legal trial.
The two defendants should also know that they are entitled to a
counsel for defense, even if they reject this. It should be stated
once and for all that this military court is absolutely legal and that
the former positions of the two Ceausescus are no longer valid.
However, they will be indicted, and a sentence will be passed on the
basis of the new legal system. They are not only accused of offenses
committed during the past few days, but of offenses committed during
the past 25 years. We have sufficient data on this period.
I ask the
court, as the plaintiff, to take note that proof has been furnished
for all these points, that the two have committed the offenses
mentioned. Finally, I would like to refer once more to the genocide,
the numerous killings carried out during the past few days. Elena
Nicolae Ceausescu must be held fully responsible for this. I now
the court to pass a verdict on the basis of the law, because everybody
must receive due punishment for the offenses he has committed.
It is very difficult for us to act, to pass a verdict on
people who even now do not want to admit to the criminal offenses that
they have committed during 25 years and admit to the genocide, not
only in Timisoara and Bucharest, but primarily also to the criminal
offenses committed during the past 25 years. This demonstrates their
lack of understanding. They not only deprived the people of heating,
electricity, and foodstuffs, they also tyrannized the soul of the
Rumanian people. They not only killed children, young people and
adults in Timisoara and Bucharest; they allowed Securitate members to
wear military uniforms to create the impression among the people that
the army is against them. They wanted to separate the people from
army. They used to fetch people from orphans' homes or from abroad
whom they trained in special institutions to become murderers of their
own people. You were so impertinent as to cut off oxygen lines in
hospitals and to shoot people in their hospital beds. The Securitate
had hidden food reserves on which Bucharest could have survived for
months, the whole of Bucharest.
Whom are they talking about?
So far, they have always claimed that we have built this
country, we have paid our debts, but with this they bled the country
to death and have hoarded enough money to ensure their escape. You
need not admit your mistakes, mister. In 1947, we assumed power,
under completely different circumstances. In 1947, King Michael showed
more dignity than you. And you might perhaps have achieved the
understanding of the Rumanian people if you had now admitted your
guilt. You should have stayed in Iran where you had flown to.
ELENA (laughs): We do not stay abroad. This is our home.
Esteemed Mr. Chairman, I have been one of those who, as a
lawyer, would have liked to oppose the death sentence, because it is
inhuman. But we are not talking about people. I would not call
the death sentence, but it would be incomprehensible for the Rumanian
people to have to go on suffering this great misery and not to have it
ended by sentencing the two Ceausescus to death. The crimes against
the people grew year by year. They were only busy enslaving the people
and building up an apparatus of power. They were not really interested
in the people.
Immediately following the trial, Nicolae & Elena Ceausescu were taken
into the courtyard and executed by firing squad.
The Prosecutor, General Gica Popa, died within three
months, in March 1990.
His death was reported to be a suicide.
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