Singapore wants Silviu Ionescu prosecuted under Romanian law

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Singapore yesterday asked the Romanian government to convince Silviu Ionescu to return to Singapore to stand trial or, should it not be possible, to prosecute him under Romanian law. “Judicial investigation conclusions clearly indicate that the offences Ionescu has been accused of were not committed as part of his official functions. Ionescu used the embassy vehicle in a private capacity for private purposes. Under these conditions, Ionescu is no longer protected by diplomatic immunity from prosecution for those offences,” the Singapore Foreign Ministry states in its letter, according to Mediafax.

Former charge d’affaires Ionescu is on trial in Singapore on a total of 13 counts including motor accident caused while intoxicated, an offence that is locally punished by hanging, Realitatea TV reports. In an interview with daily ‘Libertatea,’ Ionescu says he is not going to leave the country before investigations are over. “I am not leaving the country before they cancel the arrest warrant. I’m afraid I may be arrested on some airport somewhere and be shipped to Singapore. I have come to realise that the government of Singapore, headed by an 87-year old mentor-minister, has no respect for the law whatsoever. I will claim moral damages for my mental distress, and I will donate the money’.

A spokesperson for the Singapore Foreign Ministry said yesterday however that none of the charges leveled against Ionescu would bring about capital punishment. The spokesperson accused the Romanian diplomat of trying to distract attention from the real problem, Straits Times reported.

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