Wednesday, March 29th

Britain’s Prince Charles on a visit to Romania

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla begin a visit to Romania on Wednesday. It is the second official visit by Prince Charles after several unofficial tours in previous years. Charles and Camilla’s mini-EU tour, also including Austria and Italy, which begins on March 29 will see them spend three days in Bucharest and the surrounding area in Romania. Following talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace in the capital Bucharest, Prince Charles will be awarded the Grand Cross of the Star of Romania. Charles has a close connection with Romania, as he has a country retreat in the remote village of Valea Zalanului in the Transylvanian county of Covasna, and another in the Romanian central county of Braşov. Transylvania is the famous home of one of Charles’ ancestors, a bloodthirsty prince said to be the inspiration behind the story of Dracula, Vlad the Impaler. During his three days in the country Charles is also expected to visit the National Theatre in Bucharest to see the best of Romanian acting, music, dance and set design and, as patron of the FARA Foundation, he will visit an orphanage run by the charity.

Brother of former Romanian president still in jail

The brother of a former Romanian president stays behind bars, according to a ruling issued by a court in the Romanian south-eastern port of Constantza on Wednesday. Mircea Băsescu, brother of former Romanian President Traian Băsescu, was previously sentenced to four years in jail for influence peddling. Mr. Băsescu was charged in a case that also involved underworld member Florin Anghel (known as Bercea Mondial) and his family. From June to November 2014 Mircea Băsescu spent his time in custody, and later under house arrest. Throughout the trial stages, he had vehemently denied the accusations.

Final verdict expected for a former Communist prison commander
Romania’s highest court is expected to rule its verdict pn Wednesday in the case of Ioan Ficior, former deputy commander of the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963. The camp in the remote Danube Delta village near the Black Sea held up to 2,000 prisoners. Mr. Ficior, 89, is accused of being responsible for 103 deaths at the camp from malnutrition, beatings, a lack of medicine and from drinking dirty water from the Danube, which caused dysentery. He has been under criminal investigation since October 2013 following a complaint lodged by the Institute for the Communism Crimes Investigation, which accused Ficior of leading a repressive, abusive and inhuman detention regime leading to death. Ioan Ficior was previously sentenced to 20 years in jail and damages of  € 310,000.

Alexandru Danga