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Romania: Liberal leader, ex-political prisoner dies at 100

In this Nov. 5, 2015 picture Mircea Ionescu Quintus, the honorary chairman of the Liberal Party attends consultations at the presidential palace in Bucharest, Romania. Quintus, Romania's oldest politician, who was a political prisoner during the communist regime later became Senate speaker after communism collapsed, has died, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at the age of 100. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) ROMANIA OUT

In this Nov. 5, 2015 picture Mircea Ionescu Quintus, the honorary chairman of the Liberal Party attends consultations at the presidential palace in Bucharest, Romania. Quintus, Romania's oldest politician, who was a political prisoner during the communist regime later became Senate speaker after communism collapsed, has died, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at the age of 100. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) ROMANIA OUT

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's oldest politician Mircea Ionescu Quintus, who was a political prisoner during the communist regime and later became Senate speaker, has died. He was 100.

The Liberal Party said Quintus, the party's honorary chairman, died Friday at his home in the southern city of Ploiesti.

After communism's collapse in 1989, Quintus became chairman of the Liberal Party from 1993 to 2001, eventually becoming Senate speaker from 1998 to 2000.

President Klaus Iohannis praised Quintus, saying he had helped restore democracy to Romania.

In 2000, it emerged that Quintus had collaborated with feared communist-era secret police, the Securitate. Quintus, who spent several years as a political prisoner, insisted he had not harmed anyone and that he'd been subject to interrogation and was unable to refuse.

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