Thursday, November 4, 2010

DNA test confirms Ceausescu's remains

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BUCHAREST, Romania -- DNA tests have confirmed that the grave of Nicolae Ceausescu contains the remains of the Romanian dictator and his wife, the couple's son said Wednesday.

Ceausescu ruled Romania for 25 years with an iron fist before being ousted and executed with his wife Elena after a summary trial during the 1989 anti-communist revolt in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

Some Romanians, including the Ceausescu family, had doubts that the couple were really buried in the Ghencea military cemetery in Bucharest.

Valentin Ceausescu, a 62-year-old nuclear physicist, told the Associated Press the test results had finally cleared up lingering doubts. He said he had never visited his parents graves because he was not certain they were buried there.

Their bodies were exhumed at the request of the family as part of a five-year lawsuit, in a move that shocked Romanians.

Ceausescu, the only remaining child of the Ceausescus, told the AP that the family were looking for closure, and not revenge. He said he wanted to bury his parents at the same cemetery in adjacent plots. They had been buried about 20 yards (meters) apart

In the dawn exhumation, a team of pathologists and cemetery officials hoisted the wooden caskets of Ceausescu and his wife out of their graves, took DNA samples from the corpses, then reburied the coffins. The process took over two hours.

The daughter of the Ceausescu couple, Zoia Ceausescu, sued the defense ministry in 2005, saying she had doubts that her parents were in the cemetery. She died of cancer in 2006 and Valentin took up the case.

The couple's other son Nicu died of cirrhosis in 1996 and is buried in the same cemetery.

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