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March 6, 2021

Prosecutor and judge in Omar Hayssam case heard by DNA

Former Directorate for Investing Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutor Ciprian Nastasiu and former judge Sofica Dumitrascu were called to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Tuesday to be heard regarding the case where Dr. Mohamad Yassin is under investigation for corruption offences in connection with Omar Hayssam (photo). After his visit to DNA, Nastasiu refused to make a statement but did tell the journalists that no one had asked him to release Omar Hayssam and that it was a decision made ‘in agreement with the heads of the Office of the Prosecutor General at the time’.

Judge Sofica Dumitrascu in turn said she had been questioned regarding Dr. Mohamad Yassin, if she knew him and if she had been under pressure to release Omar Hayssam. ‘After eight years this case is too much for me’, said the former judge. ‘I had no involvement’, she also noted.

Nastasiu and Dumitrascu were invited by the prosecutors to give explanations in the case where Dr. Mohamad Yassin had been arrested for demanding approximately EUR 2 M to help obtain decisions quashing Omar Hayssam’s prison sentence.

The former prosecutor and former judge became known to the general public after Nastasiu had asked the Court to release Omar Hayssam in 2006, with the argument that the Syrian was severely ill. The request was granted by judge Dumitrascu who released Hayssam. Shortly after that, Omar Hayssam fled the country.

In the same case, the investigators heard on Monday Ovidiu Ohanesian, who said that the DNA prosecutors wanted to know about Dr. Yassin’s acquaintances. He added the case had been ‘fabricated’ in order to create levers for reopening the weapons case in which, he claims, ex-president’s family members are concerned. The journalist also said that Omar Hayssam had received a far too lenient sentence considering the offences committed and that, in reality, he was guilty of more crimes than those he has been charged with so far.

According to DNA prosecutors, from October 2014 to March 2015, Mohamad Yassin, directly as well as via Tahli Fadel, asked from two people who have denounced him in the meantime approximately two million euro, telling them he might be able to influence judicial bodies in order to have a custodial sentence quashed by extraordinary ways of appeal and therefore have the convicted person released. The convict is one of the people who have denounced him in this case.

Omar Hayssam is currently serving a 23-yaer and four months prison sentence after his sentences in the Volvo and Foresta Nehoiu cases had been combined with the punishment in the case of the kidnapping of the three Romanian journalists – Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Miscoci and Ovidiu Ohanesian – in Baghdad in March 2005 according to a decision handed down by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on 27 March. Omar Hayssam has been in orison since July 2013 when he had been brought back into the country seven years after his flight from Romania.


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