Friday, April 16, 2010

Is ROMANIA 'protecting' Silviu Ionescu?

Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story, Straits Times online
Apr 15, 2010
No immunity for Ionescu
By Teh Joo Lin

'Dr Ionescu was using the Embassy vehicle in his private capacity and for his private purposes', said the Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement on Thursday. 'As such, with effect from Dr Ionescu's recall, he no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity for the acts in question.' -- SHIN MIN PHOTO: SHIN MIN

SINGAPORE has told Romania that its former charge d'affaires Silviu Ionescu does not enjoy diplomatic immunity for his alleged offences on Dec 15 last year. Based on Article 39.2 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a diplomat loses immunity for non-official acts when his posting ends and he leaves his host country.
'Dr Ionescu was using the Embassy vehicle in his private capacity and for his private purposes', said the Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement on Thursday. 'As such, with effect from Dr Ionescu's recall, he no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity for the acts in question.'

The Coroner had found that Dr Ionescu, who turned 50 last week, was behind the wheel when the Romanian embassy's Audi A6 hit three pedestrians on Dec 15, killing one of them. The evidence showed that the Romanian had removed the state flag from the car before attending a birthday party at a karaoke lounge off Selegie Road. After the accident, Dr Ionescu was removed from his position and returned to Romania.

The MFA statement was in response to the Romanian authorities, which said it cannot arrest Dr Ionescu as he enjoys diplomatic immunity which Romania has not waived. Neither has Singapore sought a waiver.

Earlier this month, Singapore issued a warrant of arrest against Dr Ionescu, who is wanted for 13 criminal charges to do with the hit-and-run accident. This led to an Interpol red notice, which requests member countries to arrest Dr Ionescu with a view to his extradition.
While Romania is a member of Interpol, the country's Ministry of Justice said it could not arrest Dr Ionescu because there is no extradition treaty with Singapore.
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Wise Owl comments:
I find it more than puzzling with the stance adopted by Romania. There are 2 separate issues at stake here.
1. Romania claims Ionescu is still enjoying diplomatic immunity back home.
2. Romania also claims it could not arrest Ionescu because no extradition treaty exist between our two countries.
First issue is a self-created one by Romania. WHO has the legal right and authority to remove any Romanian's diplomatic immunity in Romania itself ??? Obviously not Singapore.
Only the Romanian Government can do that...IF THEY WANT TO !
And this so-called criminal ex-diplomat, already identified by INTERPOL as a wanted person, is not even arrested in his own country! Not only that ...he still ENJOYS diplomatic immunity! That's what they are saying.
Really, Romania is making itself to be a laughing stock in reliability and credibility
The 2nd issue uses the pretext of "we haven't got a extradition pact".... therefore we can't arrest him. Who said you can't arrest? This is what I call playing political chess my earlier post comments.
Mind you Ionescu's crime has been proven in open court inquiry and all the evidence and reports have been handed to them by their requests.
I believe there are too many heads holding some say within their structure...that is too many red indian chiefs, with no one having a giant say to come up front and put things right. Thus they end up confusing themselves and eventually may be labelled by the rest of the international community as a p**** h state.
Just imagine a hypothetical case.
Let's say a diplomat from X country has commited a crime or crimes in Romania.
Let's say the crime is the murder of a top officer in government or committed brutal rape against some young school girls or set off a bomb that killed scores of people, or simply assaulting an innocent bystander until the victime dies because he had an argument with him..
or this or that...whatever, they are all crimes! And their police investigate and prove all the charges. Then they try to locate diplomat "X" but "X" has flown from the cage...back to the
" safety of his own country".
Remember, "X" is not like many of those who commit crimes remaining Unknown and Uncaught. "X" is very well known...he's a diplomat who can run but not hide.
Then Romania approaches X country to seek their help in arresting this diplomat criminal.
Wouldn't they do that? They owe it to the victims who are their own citizens.
So what should X country do on receipt of such a request?
I know how Singapore would respond.... as a light and beacon to the world by example.
But X country is not Singapore.
Well, it depends on the depth and genuineness of the so-called friendship factor between X and the requesting country. If there is genuine, deep-rooted understanding and is quite easy to arrest a wanted criminal and send him to face trial in the requester country.
There is no extradition treaty between Singapore and Indonesia but on a friendly and reciprocal basis, both send wanted criminals to whichever side is making the request.
An excellent example is the Mas Selamat case.
He was arrested by Indonesia and sent to us at S'pore's request. Yes...a request! Not based on a pact! There are more examples.
You can be 100% certain that if you are a proven, wanted criminal on Interpol"s list and
the whole world is looking for you...can you imagine yourself walking everywhere in Singapore freely, and with our full govt's blessing and backing? If that be the case our people, government and country will be labelled as a p****h state too.
We will then have no where to hide our face.
And face and credibility go hand in hand.
If Romania wants to be respected as a responsible member of the International Community it has to learn to deal straight and not play dangerous political games....not even with a tiny nation like S'pore.

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