started this petition to
The European Ombudsman
According to the indictment, the interministerial committee composed of the 3 accused persons (Markó Attila, Clim Silviu and Marosán Tamás), willfully misrepresenting reality, had illegally established that the former Székely Mikó Evangelical Reformed High School from Sfântu-Gheorghe was the property of the Reformed Church and, based on the minutes drawn up in May 2002, they restituted the building of the former school to the Reformed Diocese of Transylvania (part of the Reformed Church from Romania). According to the restitution law (Government Emergency Ordinance no. 83 of 1999, published in Official Journal no. 266 of June 10, 1999), real estates had to be restituted to churches or minority organizations they were confiscated from by the communist regime. In order to find out the truth, the easiest way is to verify from whom a given building was confiscated from. The Annex to Decree no. 176 of 1948 on nationalisation (published in Official Journal no. 177 of August 3, 1948) listed – among others – the school in question (Sfântu-Gheorghe/Sepsiszentgyörgy, Petőfy street no. 1), with the observation that it was nationalised from the reformed church. Besides this, several other evidence also bolster the entitlement of the Reformed Church to the property of the former reformed school.
The legal representatives (city council, mayor) of the city of Sfântu-Gheorghe (the owner of the school building before its restitution to the church) took a stand on the legality of restitution to the Reformed Church also in court.
On January 23, 2011 several thousands of people demonstrated with candles in Sfântu-Gheorghe, sustaining the case of the rightful owner of the school, i.e. the Reformed Church. Representatives of the local government, the mayor, members of the local council and representatives of the local partner churches also attended this demonstration.
We would like to mention that in spite of the legal provisions in force, the restitution process has been stalled since the summer of 2007 (several church properties have not been restituted yet). The aim of the above mentioned show trial has been exactly to stall the restitution of church property and it has served to block the restitution process ever since. Even more, it makes an attempt to reverse the restitution. Although Romania is an EU member state, legal certainty is not guaranteed.
By this appeal we do not intend by any means to search for justice outside the courts, we would only like to provide extensive monitoring of this lawsuit in order to ensure compliance with the law. We would like to avoid the possibility of the European Court of Human Rights having to make justice after the passing of several years by subsequently acquitting innocently vilified persons and recognising the property of our church.
On June 28, 2012 the Buzău Court handed out sentences of 3 years of imprisonment against Attila MARKÓ and Tamás MAROSÁN, disposed the re-nationalization of the Székely Mikó Reformed High School and charged the Reformed Church 1.137.856 RON (USD 317 748) for illegitimate earnings. Based on the facts that the members of the special restitution committee proceeded according to the law in order for the Reformed Church to regain possession of its property (confirmed by Romanian laws and Court decisions) on must say that this showcase trial is a disgrace for the Romanian judiciary system.
Posted: 3 July 2012 (Updated: 14 April 2015)