A former president has appeared before Romania's top court which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago where six died and hundreds were injured.

Ion Iliescu, 85, went to the High Court of Cassation and Justice Wednesday to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest.

A court statement said he is being prosecuted for the deaths of three people and injury of four. He stayed an hour at the court, did not comment and denies wrongdoing.

Club-wielding coal miners and police in broke up a weeks-long pro-democracy protest in Bucharest, arresting and beating thousands of people. Afterward, Iliescu thanked the miners, drawing criticism at home and abroad.