On Monday, Omar Hayssam was officially released by the Sirian authorities who informed that he has fully served the four-year imprisonment sentence he had been handed down for crimes against the state security crimes in 2008. The lawyer who defended Omar Hayssam, Ion Cazacu, is quoted by Mediafax as having said on Monday that his client’s father is in the possession of an official paper from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Syria stating that a decision had been passed for the service of a four-year prison sentence as of January 9, 2008.
According to the lawyer, by logical deduction, his sentence ended on January 9, 2012. The lawyer said he did not know Omar Hayssam’s whereabouts or if any other convictions or sentences had been passed in his case.
The ratification of the agreements with Syria on the extradition and transfer of convicts for the service of custodial sentence has been blocked since August 2011 at the parliamentary committees that, in the current context, deemed their adoption would have negative effects on Romania’s image. In an interview for ‘Adevarul’ daily in November 11, 2010, the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, was saying that, after Hayssam serves his sentence in Syria, the two parties will discuss the next steps. Syrian national Omar Hayssam was convicted by default and sentenced to 20 years in orison for his involvement in the abduction of three Romanian reporters in Baghdad, in what was the first such situation Romania ever found itself in. His flight following his release from custody on medical grounds upon the Prosecutor’s Office request, led to the dismissal of Romanian intelligence heads and of the Prosecutor General. The Romanian authorities have taken various steps in order to bring Hayssam back to the country to serve his sentence in the country.
Adrian Nastase awaiting verdict in “Quality Trophy” case
On January 23, the High Court’s judges will pronounce a decision in the “Trofeul Calitatii” case in which the ex-premier Adrian Nastase stands charges with acts of corruption. In his last address before the court, Adrian Nastase stated he was innocent and the trial was a political one. “It’s a common practice for those who win the elections to start building up political trials against those who lose them. I have nothing to do with the Quality Trophy,” Adrian Nastase told the court. The same argument was made by Lucian Bolcas, one of Adrian Nastase’s four lawyers, who compared the trial to the Nuremberg trials taking into consideration the impressive numbers of witnesses called. Nastase was deferred to justice in this case in January 2009.