Leader: Romanian ex-president can be charged for 1989 deaths

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Romania's president has approved a request to prosecute a former president and prime minister on charges of crimes against humanity for their roles in the country's bloody anti-communist revolution.

President Klaus Iohannis asked the justice minister Friday to proceed with the prosecutions of former President Ion Iliescu and former Premier Petre Roman, as well as former deputy prime minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu.

The three founded the National Salvation Front as Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown on Dec. 22, 1989, and executed three days later. Some 1,104 people died in Romania's revolt, the vast majority after Ceausescu's ouster.

Iohannis was responding to an April 2 request from Romania's general prosecutor. His authorization was needed because the events occurred when the three were government officials.

Roman called the decision "completely unfounded and illogical."