Romania: former chief of Ceausescu's Securitate dies at 86

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The wife of Tudor Postelnicu, who suppressed dissent and was a top aide of former Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu, says he has died. He was 86.

Maria Postelnicu told Digi24 her husband died Saturday, weeks after he was admitted to a military hospital in the Romanian capital with breathing problems.

Postelnicu headed the Securitate secret police from 1978 to 1987, then became interior minister until Ceausescu was overthrown during the 1989 revolt.

He was sentenced to prison in 1990, serving four years for aggravated murder before being released on health grounds. He was incarcerated again from 1998 to 1991.

He was currently on trial for crimes against humanity for the 1985 death of dissident Gheorghe Ursu, who died after being beaten by inmates on the orders of the Securitate.