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Romania Keeps Singapore Updated On Steps Taken In Criminal Case Of Fmr Envoy Ionescu – FM
Romania’s ambassador to Singapore Aurelian Neagu informed Singapore’s Foreign Ministry of the steps taken by the Romanian authorities for a lawful investigation of former Romanian envoy to Singapore Silviu Ionescu blamed for a hit-and-run accident in December, Romania’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.
Neagu reiterated Romania's commitment to uphold procedures needed to clear out all aspects related to the case and stressed that all the public statements made by Ionescu regarding this case were his personal standpoint and did not represent an official stance of the Romanian Foreign Ministry or the Romanian authorities, the ministry said in its press release Friday.
Considering the criminal charges brought against Ionescu by the Romanian General Prosecutor's Office, Ionescu was suspended from his diplomatic duties within the Romanian Foreign Ministry under the provisions of article 60 of Law 269/ 2003 regulating the Statute of Romania's Diplomatic and Consular Corps.
Neagu also underscored that the Romanian authorities wanted to fully abide by the law and international procedures in dealing with this case.
According to the press release, on January 5, 2010, the ministry submitted a request to the General Prosecutor's Office to investigate the accident on December 15, 2009 in which a vehicle of the Romanian diplomatic mission in Singapore was involved. On January 6, 2010, the Prosecutor's Office set off the criminal prosecution against Ionescu, at the ministry's request.
On January 11, 2010, judicial authorities in Singapore were asked to provide all available accident-related data. The request was submitted via international police cooperation networks, namely, the Romanian Interpol Office and the Singapore Interpol Office, respectively, according to the press release.
On January 26, 2010, the Romanian Foreign Ministry provided information to Interpol Singapore on whether Romanian judicial authorities are entitled to probe, try and sentence Romanian citizens for crimes committed abroad, the press release also read.
On January 29, 2010, Interpol Singapore offered additional information to the Romanian General Prosecutor's Office and said more information would be provided only in keeping with the investigations that were to be unfolded by the Singapore Coroner's Court.
On February 2, 2010, the Romanian General Prosecutor's Office indicted Ionescu for negligent homicide, fleeing the scene of the accident and false statements. In consequence, Ionescu was suspended from his diplomatic duties within the Romanian Foreign Ministry, under the Romanian law, until the end of the investigation. Singapore' authorities were duly informed, the press release also noted.
On February 11, 2010, Romania's Justice Minister submitted a series of requests to Singapore's Justice Minister, via an international rogation commission, calling for full observance of procedural provisions under Romanian laws.
Romania's Embassy Chargé d'Affaires attended the Coroner's Inquiry proceedings unfolded between March 3 and March 10, 2010. Various documents were handed to him informally to better understand the legal proceedings. No reference was ever made that the said documents were meant to be an official response to the above -mentioned requests of the Romanian Justice Minister, therefore, they could not be considered as such under the international procedures, the press release also read.
On March 16, 2010, Singapore's Justice Ministry issued a preliminary answer assuring the Romanian General Prosecutor's Office that Singapore's authorities are ready to work closely with the Romanian General Prosecutor's Office throughout the criminal investigations, while observing Singapore's laws.
Singapore's Police sent to Interpol Romania an international arrest warrant against Ionescu who is held responsible for a fatal hit-and-run accident in Bukit Panjang, people close to the matter said Thursday.
Prosecutor Marius Iacob, chief of Romanian General Prosecutors' Office criminal department, told MEDIAFAX Thursday that Interpol Romania received the international arrest warrant against Ionescu from Singapore's police.
Romania's Foreign Ministry said both Romania and Singapore joined the Vienna Convention regarding diplomatic relations, therefore, investigations into Ionescu's case must be carried out by Romanian authorities.
According to the Vienna Convention regarding diplomatic relations, a diplomat enjoys immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state, which does not exempt the respective diplomat from the jurisdiction of the sending state.
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