Romania prosecutors: 20 years for communist-era prison guard

BUCHAREST: Prosecutors at Romania's top appeals court have called for a 20-year sentence for a communist-era prison commander convicted of crimes against humanity for the deaths of 12 political prisoners.

Alexandru Visinescu, who is 90 years old, was convicted in July for the deaths at the Ramnicu Sarat lockup during his 1956 to 1963 command. He appealed at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

At the final hearing Wednesday, Visinescu — dressed in a navy overcoat and tartan scarf — wept and pleaded: "Let me die!" He has denied wrongdoing but declined to testify.

He was asked six times by the judge and prosecutor why inmates died under his command. He suggested they died of old age.

The court will make a final ruling on February 10