Romanian minister quits after protest over teens’ murder

Romania’s interior minister resigned on Tuesday after the murders of two teenage girls in a southern town triggered protests over authorities’ inadequate handling of the case.

A 65-year old mechanic from Caracal has confessed to killing Alexandra Macesanu, 15, who was reported missing on July 24, and Luiza Melencu, 18, who was last seen in April.

Inquiries have shown politicized public safety bodies to be under-funded, short-staffed and insufficiently trained.

After Macesanu phoned the European emergency number 112 saying she had been kidnapped, it took authorities 19 hours to locate and enter the mechanic’s residence as they struggled to trace her three calls and secure unnecessary search warrants.

Prior to that, police also delayed registering a missing report filed by her parents.

Interior Minister Nicolae Moga, who was only appointed last week said“I have made the decision to resign to save part of the ministry’s prestige which has been strongly impacted by the deficient activity of some if its employees, who were either fired or are about to be sanctioned.

Public anger has been mounting, with protests around several Romanian cities.

Romania’s chief of police and several county officials have already been fired over the case.

As well as the delays, child search-and-rescue protocols were not followed.

 

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