Romania Exhumes Communist Dictator's Body for DNA Test

World | July 21, 2010, Wednesday // 17:14|  views

A nostalgic Romania woman arranges over the grave the portrait of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu after his remains were exhumed to check whether him and his wife Elena were truly buried at Ghencea cemetery in Bucharest. Photo by BGNES

Scientists in Romania have exhumed what are believed to be the remains of former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena, BBC reports Wednesday.

The exhumation, which is aimed at a DNA check of the identity of the bodies, was requested by Ceausescu's family. For 20 years now the relatives keep questionning whether the couple were really buried in the Ghencea military cemetery in Bucharest.

Long-time dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, was toppled in the 1989 revolution, arrested while trying to flee and hastily executed and buried with his wife in an unmarked grave.

The couple's only surviving son, Valentin, and their late daughter's husband, Mircea Oprean, insist the identity of the bodies must be verified.

The exhumation was overseen by pathologists and cemetery officials.

"I saw the bodies, my father-in-law's was quite well preserved; I recognized his black winter coat with some holes in it," Oprean, who was present at the exhumation, is quoted saying.

Gelu Voican-Voiculesc, a former official from the government that took power after Ceausescu's fall, who supervised the burial in 1989, declared "the tests would prove that he had always been right, and all those who have harassed him for years with all sorts of accusations will now apologize."

The DNA tests could take up to six months.

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Tags: Nicolae Ceausescu, exhumation, communist dictator, DNA


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