— A hearing on the appeal of a 90-year-old communist-era prison guard sentenced to 20 years for crimes against humanity was quickly adjourned Wednesday because he did not have a lawyer.
Alexandru Visinescu, commander of the Ramnicu Sarat
prison from 1956 to 1963, was convicted, in the first such trial in Romania, for deaths of 12 political prisoners during his command.
The lockup housed the intellectual, political and military prewar elite. Visinescu says he was merely following orders.
He arrived alone at the High Court for Cassation and Justice. He was unshaven, appeared frail and declined to speak to reporters. He was sentenced in July but remains free pending his appeal.
The next hearing was set for Nov. 25.