Romanian court tells man he’s not alive

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Bucharest, March 17 (IANS) A Romanian court has ruled that a 63-year-old man is dead despite the man himself appearing alive and well, a media report said.

Constantin Reliu asked the court in Barlad town to overturn a death certificate obtained by his wife after he had spent more than a decade in Turkey, during which time he was out of contact with his family, the Guardian reported.

The court told him he was too late, and would have to remain officially deceased.

“I am officially dead, although I’m alive,” Reliu told local media outlets. “I have no income and because I am listed dead, I can’t do anything.”

Reliu left Romania for Turkey in 1992, apparently to seek employment. He last returned to the country in 1999, and appears to have cut off all contact with his family.

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After years of silence from her estranged husband, Reliu’s wife obtained a back-dated death certificate for him.

Romanian daily Adevarul said Reliu’s wife had argued in court that having heard nothing from her husband since 1999, she had assumed he had died in an earthquake while in Turkey.

The daily said Reliu believes she sought the death certificate in order to annul the marriage and allow her to remarry, the Guardian reported.

Reliu may never have found out about his death in his homeland had he not been apprehended by Turkish authorities earlier this year and deported back to Romania because of expired documents.

He had planned to renew his passport in Romania and return to Turkey, but on arrival, he was detained by immigration officers who informed him he had died in 2003.

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