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Roumanian Justice Again Finds Codreanu and His Associates Innocent: Trial of Iron Guard Leaders Foll

March 7, 1931
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Codreanu, Totu, Danila and the rost of the leaders of the Iron Guard Organisation who were arrested in January on a charge of plotting to overthrow the Government with a view to establishing an antisemitic regime in the country, have been acquitted to-day.

The arrests were made following instructions issued by the Government after the attempt made on the life of M. Socor, the editor of the “Adeverul”. A police search at the Iron Guard head quarters in Jassy, it was said, had revealed a carefully organised plot to carry out a series of antisemitic outbreaks, which would have shaken the whole country. the King himself, it was stated, had insisted on firm action by the Government to put an end to the constant hooliganism in Roumania. The Government thereupon instructed the local authorities to treat the antisemitic organisation as illegal bodies in the same way as the Communist societies which are not permitted to function in Roumania.

The attempt made by the antisemitic student Dumitrescu upon M. Socor may turn out to have been a good thing, if it is going to result in the Government taking really effective action to restore public order in the country, the newspapers commented at the time of the arrests.

This time, the “Dimineatza” wrote, the Ministry of Justice has decided at last to act with severity, since till now the antisemitic terrorists have been going about their work feeling confident that whatever they did they were sure of being acquitted by the law courts.

When the trial started, Codreanu and his associates contended that they were only leading a patriotic national revival movement by legal methods, and denied the accusation that they were organising terrorism and anarchy. It is possible, they said, that exaggerated language had been used in some of their pamphlets, but they were not terrorists.

The Public Prosecutor, M. Dumitrescu, on the other hand, claimed that there was no doubt about their guilt in inciting people to commit a breach of the peace and thus endangering the security of the State.

The lawyers who appeared for the defence told the Court that they, too, (the lawyers) and the greater part of the Roumanian youth share the views of the accused, and if they were sent to prison the whole of the Roumanian youth should be sent to prison with them.

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