Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Romanian court exonerates Antonescu of one 1946 charge

BUCHAREST (AP) –A Bucharest court has ruled that the country’s wartime pro-Nazi leader, Ion Antonescu, was not responsible for waging war on the Soviet Union in 1941 because the neighboring country had occupied parts of Romania a year earlier. Antonescu was sentenced to death in 1946 by a people’s tribunal on charges including war crimes, deporting hundreds of thousands of people to death camps and crimes against peace by joining the Germans in attacking the Soviet Union. He was executed that year, along with several cabinet members. In a ruling published yesterday, the court cleared Antonescu and 19 members of his cabinet solely on the charge referring to the attack on the Soviet Union, noting that the action was legitimate as a response to the Soviet occupation.

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