Observations on the Military Prosecutors’ Recent Communiques on the Status of Investigations into December 1989 (IV, the Case of Teodor Brates, part 1)

For previous episodes in this series, please see:

https://rolandothomassonphd.home.blog/2019/01/08/observations-on-the-military-prosecutors-recent-communiques-on-the-status-of-investigations-into-december-1989-i/

https://rolandothomassonphd.home.blog/2019/01/11/observations-on-the-military-prosecutors-recent-communiques-on-the-status-of-investigations-into-december-1989-ii/

https://rolandothomassonphd.home.blog/2019/01/14/observations-on-the-military-prosecutors-recent-communiques-on-the-status-of-investigations-into-december-1989-iii-the-case-of-general-iosif-rus/

(for recent use of my work, see Andrei Ursu, Mădălin Hodor, Roland O. Thomasson, „Cine a tras în noi după 22?”Studiu asupra vinovățiilor pentru victimele Revoluției Române din decembrie 1989)

 

Here is what the military prosecutors alleged in April 2018 in relation to the TVR news editor Teodor Brates:

În cauza cunoscută generic sub denumirea „Dosarul Revoluției”, procurori militari ai Secţiei Parchetelor Militare din cadrul Parchetului de pe lângă Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie au dispus extinderea și efectuarea în continuare a urmăririi penale sub aspectul săvârșirii infracțiunii contra umanității față de suspectul Brateș Teodor, la data săvârșirii faptelor -adjunct al redactorului șef al Redacției ”Actualități” din TVR, pentru fapte comise în intervalul 22 – 31 decembrie 1989.

Din probatoriul administrat în cauză au rezultat următoarele:

Suspectul Brateș Teodor – adjunct al redactorului șef al Redacției ”Actualități” din TVR – a fost principalul factor de diseminare a știrilor false, cu caracter diversionist, în acest fel contribuind într-o foarte mare măsură la instalarea psihozei teroriste ce a afectat profund întreaga populației a României (militari și civili). Mesajele televizate ale suspectului s-au referit la atacuri teroriste asupra obiectivelor militare și civile, apă otrăvită, clădiri minate, diverse conduite abominabile ale așa zișilor teroriști, atacuri cu elicoptere, desanturi aeriene, coloane de blindate în deplasare etc. Repetarea acestui gen de dezinformare a făcut ca psihoza teroristă să atingă cote paroxistice și astfel să constituie principala cauză a numeroaselor pierderi de vieți omenești, vătămări și distrugeri petrecute în timpul evenimentelor revoluționare.

http://www.mpublic.ro/ro/content/c_18-04-2018-10-04

Here is how the military prosecutors’ findings about Teodor Brates were reported in English in April 2018:

Romanian Ex-Journalist Indicted for Disinformation Over 1989 Revolt

A former TV news anchor in 1989 has been charged with crimes against humanity for spreading disinformation during the anti-communist uprising that resulted in deaths.

Ana Maria Luca, BIRN, Bucharest

Romanian military prosecutors investigating for the fourth time the bloodshed that occurred during the 1989 uprising that ousted communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu on Wednesday indicted a former television news anchor for crimes against humanity. Investigators said Teodor Brates helped spread false information that led to deaths and violence during the December 1989 uprising that followed Ceausescu’s ousting.

Brates, who was deputy editor-in-chief of the news department of the Romanian Public Broadcaster TVR in December 1989, was summoned by prosecutors on Wednesday to officially receive the notification of his indictment.

Charges say he coordinated the TVR broadcasts on December 22-24 1989, when anti-communist protesters took over the studios of the broadcaster.

Brates went live on television to announce that “terrorists” were shooting at people and that “water has been poisoned.”

The indictment says Brates was “the main factor disseminating fake news, meant to create diversions, thus highly contributing to forming the terrorist psychosis which affected Romania’s entire population (both military and civilians).”

and

Romanian prosecutors point to role of fake news in 1989 Revolution diversion

18 Apr 2018
by Ro Insider

The Romanian prosecutors are investigating two military members and a former news anchor for acts that contributed to the diversion created during the days of the 1989 Revolution.

Last year, the prosecutors said they found that there was no power void in Romania during the days of the 1989 Revolution and that a military and political structure took control immediately after dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife fled Bucharest on December 22. A massive diversion and contradictory orders have led to numerous deaths in the days that followed Ceausescu’s fall, the prosecutors concluded.

The prosecutors have starting investigating Teodor Brateş, an anchor of the public television TVR during the 1989 Revolution, for crimes against humanity. According to the prosecutors, he was “the main factor for the dissemination of false news, of a diversionary character, thus contributing to a large extent to the settling in of the terrorist psychosis that deeply affected the entire population of Romania (military and civilian).”

Brateş is investigated for acts committed in between December 22 and December 31, 1989. At the time, he was the deputy editor in chief of the TVR’s Current Affairs newsroom. The messages he transmitted on air referred to terrorist attacks on military and civilian targets, poisoned water, mined buildings, various abominable conducts of the so-called terrorists, helicopter attacks, or columns of armored vehicles on the move.

“Repeating this kind of misinformation made the terrorist psychosis reach paroxysmal highs and this became the main cause of the numerous losses of human life, injuries and destruction that occurred during the revolutionary events,” the prosecutors say.

editor@romania-insider.com

 

Here is how the allegations against Brates have been received by leading Romanian intellectuals.  At the time, by Vladimir Tismaneanu:

Nu știu dacă era isteric sau in misiune, probabil ambele. Răul comis de Teodor Brateș a fost imens. A diseminat pseudo-știri menite să genereze panică, spaimă, groază. Avea la dispozitie intreg aparatajul TVR, putea delira in voie, ceea ce probează că lucra pentru Iliescu, Brucan, Roman, Voican Voiculescu si Măgureanu. A fost un dezinformator extrem de nefast. A participat la un scenariu lugubru, de un cinism fără egal. (Vladimir Tismaneanu pe FB)

and more recently…by Gabriel Liiceanu:

http://www.contributors.ro/cultura/petre-roman-%c8%99i-teodor-brate%c8%99-ii-inva%c8%9ba-pe-studen%c8%9bi-etica-la-universitatea-din-bucure%c8%99ti/

 

Many readers and observers of things Romanian…would have little idea who, in the weeks, months, and initial years, after December 1989, had Brates most in their sights…the former Securitate, the secret police of the communist regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu:

for example, Filip Teodorescu, who was involved in the repression of anti-regime demonstrators in Timisoara (his memoir from 1992 below)

or the mouthpiece of the former Securitate during the early 1990s, Angela Bacescu of Zig-Zag, Romania Mare, and Europa (this 1994 volume includes a number of texts from Europa)

p. 183 Angela Bacescu:  DE CE BRATES SI STARK NU SUNT ANCHETATI SI TRASI LA RASPUNDERE PENTRU INCITAREA LA OMOR DEOSEBIT DE GRAV? (!!!)

 

 

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