CHAPTER IV – DECLARATIONS OF PEOPLE FOUND AT THE LOCATIONS SEARCHED ON MARCH 18, 2004
1. The Search on the 50th Calea Plevnei Street, Bucharest
I, the undersigned Szanto Ştefan Raul, resident in Bistriţa, at Împãratul Traian Street, 53 block, staircase E, appartment 68, declare the following:
“On March 18th, 2004, at 9.00 am Gendarmerie forces accompanied by a Poloce Officer have forced their way in, breaking the window of the front door, without ringing the doorbell or knocking first. Masked and armed Gendarmes rushed into all the rooms of the building. All people present inside were threatend to stop their mobile phones and they were not allowed to answer the local phone or to make any phone calls. They have seized many personal assets (cd players, audio and video tapes, books and personal note-books) that were not the object of the the search, as they had no connection to the object of the search warrant.
Upon my request that the Search Report would mention all seized items, the police officer Dumitraş Ilie replied that he would not do such a thing, but if I wanted to, I could do this recording with the video tapes but not with the CD’s. Following these abusive measures and due to the vandalist method of breaking in and entering the builiding by destroying the front door, I have lost my confidence in the legal system. Those who should protect me are aggresing me, thus violating my most elementary rights.”
2. The Search on the 2nd Vasile Grozavu Street, 5th Sector
I, the undersigned MIRONA MARIA FARCAŞI, resident in Bucharest, the 9th Peleaga Street, the 5th sector, ID (Identity Card) RD no. 290484, 23 years old declare the following:
“On March 18th, 2004, at 9.00 am the Gendarmerie forces broke inside the the building by crossing the fence, without ringing the door bell first. They broke the building windows, smashed the access door, they beat the dog, made us lie on the floor and stay like this for about 15 minutes. The gendarmes recorded on tape the moment when they abusively pushed me on the floor. Although i requested to be informed why I am being submitted to such a harsh treatment, the prosecutor Andreea Nica şi the police Officer Ionuţ (…?) did not ID themselves, telling me that I did not have any quality within their investigation. Subsequently, when I was witheld and taken to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, I was told that i was a witness and I was forced to make a statement!?
Although we were forced to sign the Official report for the search warrant and the boxes with the seized items, we were not allowed to participate full time during the search and the sealing of the evidence boxes. Nevertheless, I was forced to sign them afterwards. The seized assets (books, documents, video and audio tapes, including blank tapes, photos) were not described in detail (individually) in the official report, and thus they could not be identified.
All persons who entered the building partcipated actively at the search (including the gendarmes, the camera man and the assistant witnesses). They searched through all things inside the building without us being able to watch them.
After this illegal search that was not done according to the legal norms, many assets disappeared from the building, and they can not be found in the offcial report.
3. The Search at the the 2nd Vasile Grozavu Street, the 5th Sector
I, the undersigned DUMITRU MÃDÃLINA, resident in Constanţa, the Costineşti village, living in Bucharest, on the 14th Trompetului Street, the 5th Sector, ID (Identity Card) KT no.151797, age 17 (underaged) declare the following:
„On 18 March 2004, 9 am, Gendarmerie forces enetred the building by crossing the fence. They broke the window, forced the door and beat the dog in the yard.
One of the masked gendarmes hit me in the chest with his foot, making me lie on the ground. I was forced to remain lilke this for aproximately 15 minutes, under gun threat.
The Gendarmerie cameraman recorded the moment when I was hit and forced to lie on the ground. The prosecutor Andreea Nica and the police officer Ionuţ (…?) did not ID themselves saying I had no right there.
During the search they seized from me 2 610 000 lei, 3 USD, a few foreign currency coins, my mobile phone, my phone book, my mobile CD player, the books from my rucksack, my state allowance checkbook, my Yoga course ID. They did all these although I objected, by saying that all those assests belonged to me, and they had no connection to the object of the search.
Later on, when I was withheld against my will, by a group of armed gendarmes and taken to the Public Prosecutor’s Office by the Bucharest Court of Apeal, the prosecutor in charge told me I was a „witness”, without giving me any details about what I had witnessed. I was forced to make a statement, in the absence of any legal advisor, although I persistently asked that I was allowed to contact my lawyer or my parents.
They threatened to beat me, and I was forced to write a statement upon dictation by a prosecutor who threatened that if I did not write what he dictated me he would never let me go.”
4. The Search at 123rd Turturicã, the 5th Sector, Bucharest
I, the undersigned DIMITRIU HELEN ANCA, resident in Tecuci, the 32nd Elena Doamna Street, ID (Identification Card) GL no. 192415 declare the following:
“At 9 am, a group of masked, armed gendarmes broke in, using force, without first ringing the door beel. They climed the fence and broke the windows. After entering the yard, the gendarmes began to break the windows and room doors, even those that were not locked, first at the ground floor and next at the other floors.
All persons inside the building were forced to get outside, in the yard, and they were not allowed to get dressed or to touch any object of their rooms. Men were gun threatened to stand at the wall, with their hands behind their back, and they were not allowed to talk to each other. No one, of the people inside was allowed to use their mobile phones. We were forbidden to contact our legal advisors.
When the legal advisor/lawyer arrived (ms. Mâţu Cristina), at first, she was not allowed to enter the perimeter (although she had the legal documentation allowing her to do this). Only after long debates, was she allowed in.
We were kept in the yard for 2 hours, dressed only as we had been witheld in the morning (pyjamas, underwear). We were very cold and we were not allowed to get dressed. Then, we were all forced in one room of the building. All these were taped by the police.
The gendarmes who entered the building searched through all the rooms. Then the prosecutor also entered the building, accompanied by the assistant witnesses and a few other civilians. I wish to state that nobody showed me any ID or any search warrant. Also, I was not told why I was being held, the gendarmes spoke harshly to me, screaming: ”Shut up!”, while I was under threat of guns.
Around 12 o’clock I was allowed to get dressed and then I was taken out of the building, together with the other persons. Next we were forced to get in the Gendarmerie vans, without being told why are we arrested and where are they taking us..
Next, together with other people, I was taken to a building that i later found out to be the Public Prosecutor’s Office (the Court of Law) by the Bucharest Court of Apeal. ThereI was continuously asked aggressive and offending questions regarding my personal life and I wad forced to write a statement under dictation by a prosecutor whose name I do not know.
Only after writing that statement was I allowed to leave the building in question.”
5. The Search at 26th Bonea Constantin Street, the 5th Sector, Bucharest
I, the undersigned ŞTEFÃNESCU MAGDA, resident in Bucharest, 22nd Aleea Livezilor Street, 32 block, staircase 2, 4th floor, appartment 156, the 5th sector, ID (Identity Card ) BU no. 455189, declare the following:
“On March 18th 2004, at 9.00 o’clock, I was inside the building at the 26th Bonea Constantin Street, the 5th sector, Bucharest, when I heard a broken glass noise, people walking fast and then I heard „Hold still, don’t move!” A masked gendarme entered the door and he threatened me and Obrejan Mihaela with his gun, forcing us to lie down on the floor, with our hands behind our back. As I did not obey immediately, the gendarme pushed me and I was forced to lie down, with my face to the ground.
Together with Obrejan Mihaela I was forced to lie down like this in one of the rooms of the building, for approximately 5 minutes. Next, we were told to get up, with our hands behind our back, and we were video recorded, although I had asked them not to, because I was veru summarly dressed.
In front of the camera, I was asked to state my name, my address and my parents’s names. As I did not obeyed instantly, I was verbally aggressed (they shouted at me) and then I was body searched by a woman (nothing was found) and I was told to sit on a couch.
Next, other people from the same building were brought in the same room with me. The gendarmes watched us all this time, threatening us with their guns, and forcing us to keep our hands behind our back.
Next, a man who did not introduced himself, and who had entered the room together with the other gendarmes began to address me and the other people in the room, in a very aggressive and vulgar manner, demanding our ID’s.
Then, they began to search the other rooms of the building while together with the other people from the building, I was forced to keep my hands up. Two gendarmes watched us, we were not allowed to look at or talk to each other.
When we asked one of the gendarmes why we were held like that, he shouted at me, threatening that if I continued to talk, he would hit me.
Together with other 5 women, I was held like this for 9 hours. During this time some of the women got sick, and in the end I also got sick.
During all this time (approximately 9 hours), the entire building was searched and the objects in the building were packed.
At the end of the 9 exhausting hours, I was called outside the building. In the yard I was forced to sign an official report, whose content I only heard fragments of. I requested that they would mention that I did not agree with the content of the search report, asking to be allowed to contact a lawyer.
Although I had signed the search report, I was not given a copy of it.
Next, I was taken together with the other 5 women at the Public Prosecutor’s Office (The Law Court) by the Bucharest Court of Apeal where I was sollicited by a prosecutor who did not introduced himself, to make a statement. I refused, saying that I would sign nothing, except if my lawyer was present. Then I was threatened that I would spend the night under arrest, “so that I would have a reason to ask for a lawyer”, and I was warned to get a grip of myself, otherwise, something bad might happen to me.
As I was not allowed to contact my lawyer, I was harassed into making a statement without a lawyer. At 1 in the night, at the end of my strengths, as I was feeling very sick, I accepted to write a „statement”, upon dictation from Mr. Inspector. This „statement” was written against my will and does not correspond to reality.
After signing the statement, I was allowed to leave.”
6. The Search at 26th Ion Câmpineanu Street, the 1st Sector 1, Bucharest
I, the udnersigned PETRACHE NATALIA ELENA, age 27, resident in Buzãu, Dorobanţi arrondisment, 7B block, appartment 24, employee of SC EXTAZ Ltd. As documentarist, declare the following:
“On the 18th of March, 2004, I was at the company I work for. Around 9 a.m., while i was in the bathroom, I heard someone smashing the door. I had hardly gotten up the tillet, when a group of masked and armed gendarmes suddenly opened the bathroom door. I was forced to get up form the toilett, without being allowed to get dressed, And with „my pants by the knees” I was taken in the offices area. All this time, the cameraman that accomapnied the prosecutor filmed me.
They forced me to lie down with my hands behind my back, not allowing me to pull up my panties and continuing to film. The company driver, Ilie Marian, was also lying down with me, as we were the only ones at the company headquarters.
They asked about our mobile phones, that they immediately seized and sealed. Only after that was I allowed to get up and get dressed. Upon my persistent requests, the man who introduced himself as the prosecutor Neagu Tomiţã, quickly showed my a search warrant. Although I was not told a word of what they were looking for at our company, and what were the deeds that we were under suspicion of having accomplished, they began searching the building..
The search lasted from 9.00 am to 22.00, and meanwhile I was not allowed to eat. At a certain moment, when they found a mobile phone in my bag, although I had informed the prosecutor of its existence, I was threatened that he would beat me up because I had not told him about the mobile phone.
After the search, an official report was writen. Although I was mentionned as a witness, and I was forced to sign it, I was not given a copy of it.
I was forced to sign the boxes where they had packed the items collected from the headquarters of our company. These boxes had already been sealed, and I was not allowed to check their content.
Around 22 in the evening,me and Marian Ilie, the driver, were taken against our will by the Gendarmerie van, to the Public Prosecutor’s Office by the Bucharest Court of Apeal.
When I was brought in for questioning, although the prosecutor who had made the search had told me this would be a simple witness statement for the objects they had collected from the company, I saw that prosecutor Dubãi, who questionned me, was trying to get from me certain totally different iinformation, that had nothing to do with the search.this prosecutor wanted to associate my name and the fact that I was a Yoga course member with various porno sites,adult video production, porno photos for commercialisation and sexual intercourse with Mr. Yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru.
As I refused to make such a statement that was completely untrue, prosecutor Dubãi threatened to arrest me. He told me that I would not leave the Court building anymore and he immediately grabbed the phone in order to prove that his threats were serious.
Although I requested the presence of my chosen lawyer, I was refused this right too. Eventually, I managed to make a statement that was the least I could approve of and I was allowed to leave the building around 2 a.m. Not even now was I given back the objects that had been abusively seized during the search (my Nokia 6510 mobile phone, my Siemens mobile phone, and my “Bulgari” original watch).
7. The search at 5th Peleaga Street, the 5th Sector, Bucharest
I, the undersigned Diana Mihailescu, age 32, resident in Bucharest, the 258th Pantelimon Street, block 47, staircase B, appartment 59, the 2nd sector, declare the following:
“On the 18th of March, 2004, around 9:00 am, I was visiting a friend on the 5th Peleaga Street. While I was in one room, I heard men’s voices shouting “down” and I saw a group of masked and armed gendarmes who entered the house. Some of them broke the room window. I was searched. They found upon me 1000 € and a Nokia, hands free mobile phone, and they seized these assets, against my objections. Next, I was taken in another room with the the other people in the house. Any connection of the people inside the house to those outside was forbidden, all phones were stopped. I was taken at the Public Prosecutor’s Office, by the Bucharest Court of Apeal, where I requested the presence of a lawyer. The answer of the prosecutor was that the presence of an attorney is not necessary since I was not being charged of anything. I only had to make a „simple statement.” Althoug in the beginning I refused to make any statement under these circumstances, in the end I gave in, due to fatigue and to the stress I was under.
I know I was refused a fundamental right – the right to legal assistance, by a lawyer – . As far as I know, even the most villain of all people is given this right. Although I was not charged of anything, the way that I was treated induced me a state of insecurity: the authorities that are supposed to watch over my wellfare and security have practically acted illegally. This action makes anyone question the way that justice is applied in Romania.
I mention that not even now was I given back the assets that I was seized.”
As it appears from the set of the above mentionned statements, the entire action that resorted to force, lead and organized by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Parchetul) by the Bucharest Court of Appeal, that was approved by the President of the 1st Legal Section of the Bucharest Court, Judge Lia Savonea represents a clear violation of the imperative Romanian Laws, such as: the Romanian Constitution, the Penal Code and the Legal Charges Code, as well as the fundamental human rights and the right to freedom, that are adopted both by the Romanian laws and by all international organizations defending human rights.
The following fundamental rights have been violated:
– the right of all citizens to legal defense, that is the right of being assisted by a lawyer, during any stage of the legal investigation
– the right of all citizens of having their residences searched, and of being body searched by the investigating authorities strictly according to the law
– the right of foreign citizens to a translator ;
– the right to personal self-image as stated by article 12 of the CNA (the National Council of the Audio-Visual Media) Decision no.80/2002 regarding the protection of human dignity;
– the right to self-image and to the rightful debriefing of the public opinion, obligation stated by art.3 par.2 of the Law no.504/2002 of the audio-visual media and by art.2 of the C.N.A. Decision no.274/2003 regarding insuarance of the rightful informing of the public opinion.
Also, we have to take into consideration the documentaries broadcasted by all Romanian TV stations, referring to these actions of March 18th 2004, that all involved force and the fact that Police offered to these TV stations many sequences recorded on the scene. All these contributed to the violation of the following rights:
– the right to self-image,
– the right to prove all incriminating charges or, at least, to indicate the supporting evidence,
– the right to the correct informing of the public opinion,
– the principle of encouraging the free acquirement of self-opinion and the priciple of guaranteeing impartiality and balance, by presenting the main contradictory points of view.
Against all these abuses and against many other abuses that we can inform you on in a subsequent report, we imperatively demand the help and the support of all qualified international organizations.