Romania: Court sets new date for ex-prison chief appeal

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) " A former Romanian prison commander sentenced to 20 years for the deaths of 103 political prisoners under his command at a communist-era labor camp did not attend the first hearing in his appeal, saying he was sick and had not had time to hire a lawyer.

Ion Ficior ran the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963. The 88-year-old was sentenced by a court on March 30 and he appealed.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Wednesday set a new hearing for Nov. 16.

Former detainees accused Ficior of beatings, a lack of food and medicine, and unheated cells. He denies wrongdoing and says he was merely following orders.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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