[QODLink]
Europe
Romanian miners' leader freed
General prosecutor's office says it will appeal against the court decision.
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2007 19:36 GMT
Miners repeatedly rallied in the capital [EPA]

A Romanian court has freed, on parole, the jailed leader of miners' riots that helped topple the country's first post-communist government in 1991.

 

"The court endorsed the proposal to free Cozma," a R

Cozma is serving a 10-year sentence for leading thousands of coal miners from the northwestern Jiu Valley to Bucharest, where they invaded parliament, set fire to government buildings and forced Petre Roman, the prime minister, to resign.
 
Three people were killed in the three-day rampage.

Miners descended repeatedly on the capital after a violent revolution ended communist rule in Romania in December 1989, determined to influence post-communist political developments.

 

Analysts said images broadcast around the world of people being beaten on the streets slowed down Romania's efforts to transform itself into a market economy by deterring foreign investment.

 

Release reactions

 

Cozma's term expires in 10 months, and the prison in Bucharest where he is jailed decided late last year to grant him early release for good conduct, subject to court approval.

 

"An early release for Cozma is outrageous"

- Viorel Ene,
 
Miners' victims association
A spokesman for the general prosecutor's office said that prosecutors would appeal against the court's decision.

 

The leader of the Miners' Victims Association, Viorel Ene, said: "An early release for Cozma is outrageous."

 

Protests in 1990

 

Cozma was not charged in connection with the miners' riot of June 1990, when 20,000 miners came to Bucharest and crushed demonstrations against Ion Iliescu, the president, leaving six people dead and more than 100 wounded.

 

Iliescu denied allegations that he had summoned the miners, saying they  decided to board trains to the capital to rescue the nation from "hooligans".

 

A criminal inquiry into the violence is still under way.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list