Romanian prosecutors say they will reopen an investigation into the death of a well-known dissident who was killed in prison in 1985 on the orders of the former Securitate secret police.

The prosecutors' office said Monday it would be probing the circumstances of the death of Gheorghe Ursu, who was killed in prison for keeping a diary in which he criticized the regime of former communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

His son, Andrei Ursu, went on a hunger strike in October to protest the lack of investigation into his father's death. He ended it after 17 days when he received assurances the case would be reopened.

Critics say Romania has been slow to prosecute those who allegedly committed abuses under Ceausescu because many officials retained their jobs after 1990.