Europe

Romania probes former leaders' roles in 1990 protest deaths

Romania's military prosecutors have launched a criminal inquiry into former President Ion Iliescu and an ex-prime minister over the deaths of four people when coal miners violently broke up an anti-government protest in 1990.

Prosecutors said Iliescu, former Premier Petre Roman, the then-head of the intelligence agency and other officials had a role in the deaths during the June 1990 anti-government protests. Some 1,300 were injured when club-wielding miners descended on Bucharest and broke up the demonstrations.

Military prosecutors said Friday the group "agreed, organized and coordinated a general and systematic attack against civilians," including demonstrators and Bucharest residents. They said armed government forces and workers attacked civilians.

Roman called the inquiry "unfounded and absurd." Iliescu has denied the accusations.