Úz Valley Cemetery

Prefect files lawsuits against Dărmănești over Úz Valley illegalities

The Bacău county prefect Valentin Ivancea has attacked the Dărmănești local council’s decision to hijack the Úz Valley cemetery (and adjacent land) from the Csíkszentmárton local authority. It also went after the mayor’s office for issuing illegal construction license to build a new parcel for Romanian soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian military graveyard, according to a press release issued by Harghita County Council.

As we previously reported, the aforementioned local council’s decisions and construction issues were illegal, and the prefect’s move in the Bacău County Administrative Court corroborates this fact. According to Romanian law, the prefect’s action automatically suspends the contested decisions of the Dărmănești local council.

“If the Administrative Court finds that the decisions were illegal, they will be annulled, and all steps taken according to the contested decision will be voided. After the final ruling is issued, the aggrieved party – Csíkszentmárton – will have the opportunity to ask for the restoration of the military graveyard to its original form,” the press release reads. This means that if the court finds the construction license was illegal, Csíkszentmárton will have a legal foundation to remove the illegally erected concrete crosses and obelisk. Also, if the Dărmănești local council’s decision to claim ownership of the Úz Valley cemetery for the city is found illegal, then everything goes back to its original state and the Csíkszentmárton mayor’s office can ask to legally reclaim rightful ownership of the land. However, the big question is what happens with those who orchestrated the series of illegal actions, whether they will be dealt with according to the law?

The press release cites the president of Harghita County Council saying that this change in attitude at the Bacău County Prefect’s office is due to the change in prefect on September 10, 2019, when Maricica Luminita Cosa was replaced by Valentin Ivancea. The previous prefect, Mrs. Cosa, threatened lawsuits but did not take further action, despite the Dărmănești city mayor simply ignoring the prefect’s demands.

At the time of writing this article, we couldn’t find any information about the prefect’s action on the Bacău County Court’s website. We have reached out to the Bacău Prefect, and we will keep you posted on developments as they come in.

Title image: The Úz Valley military graveyard on June 16, 2019. Photo: István Fekete

Author: István Fekete