World

Romania: ex-president prosecuted for crimes against humanity, for 3 deaths in violent protest

  • FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2007 file photo,  former Romanian President Ion Iliescu gestures during a meeting with foreign media in Bucharest, Romania. Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2007 file photo, former Romanian President Ion Iliescu gestures during a meeting with foreign media in Bucharest, Romania. Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, June 13, 2010, file photo a man holds a banner depicting former Romanian President Ion Iliescu during a protest demanding legal action against those responsible of the bloody events of 20 years ago when security forces backed by coal miners put a violent end to an anti-government protest in Bucharest, Romania. Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, June 13, 2010, file photo a man holds a banner depicting former Romanian President Ion Iliescu during a protest demanding legal action against those responsible of the bloody events of 20 years ago when security forces backed by coal miners put a violent end to an anti-government protest in Bucharest, Romania. Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, June 14, 1990, file photo, a group of pro-government Romanian coal miners beat an opposition protester on the University Square in Bucharest, Romania. Former President Ion Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest.(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, June 14, 1990, file photo, a group of pro-government Romanian coal miners beat an opposition protester on the University Square in Bucharest, Romania. Former President Ion Iliescu, 85, appeared Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 before Romania’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago, to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest.(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.