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February 4, 2023

Romanian journalists’ Iraq kidnapping – five years on

Five years have passed since the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Iraq. And yet, the answers to countless questions have not surfaced. Declassifying the file may very well untangle the mystery. Senate foreign policy committee leader Titus Corlatean, has just made a step in that direction, submitting a relevant application based on the public need to know what is actually behind the case. In March 2005, three Romanian journalists, Marie-Jeanne Ion, Sorin Miscoci and Ovidiu Ohanesian traveled to Baghdad for a number of feature reports about the new Iraqi administration. The trip was paid for by Omar Hayssam and Mohamad Munaf, with the latter acting as their guide in the Iraqi capital. Prosecutors in charge of the case say Hayssam and Munaf arranged the kidnapping with a terror group. The journalists were held captive for about three months, and were released on May 22, 2005. Hayssam was sentenced to prison for terrorism, yet, he managed to flee Romania.

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