Not for love of money, but of Humanity. "Greater is he who works for the good of all, then he who works for the good of himself only" ~ Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"- (NIV). I live in Singapore where the Emperor must not be disturbed.
Friday, April 30, 2010
'Immunity' for Ionescu to be clarified
Romanian ambassador summoned to explain claim in diplomatic note
By Teh Joo Lin
Shame on ST for having contact with Ionescu and publishing his 'nonsense', ST is just trying to further scandalize the issue by encouraging Ionescu to spew more lies to the press. ST just want to the scandal to get big and juicy so it can sell more newspapers by reporting this scandal to an unknowing public. Shame on ST. No morals, only pandering to share holder financial interest. Shame on ST. Shame on ST.
SINGAPORE has summoned Romanian ambassador Aurelian Neagu to a meeting here later this week to clarify comments by his government that former charge d'affaires Silviu Ionescu continues to enjoy diplomatic immunity.
The comments were made in a third party diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) last Friday.
Disclosing this in Parliament yesterday when updating Ms Irene Ng (Tampines GRC) on the latest developments, Foreign Minister George Yeo said: 'We are puzzled as it seems to imply that Romania is now claiming that Dr Ionescu was engaged in official duties at the time of the accident and we do not understand how this can possibly be the case.'
Romania cited Article 39(2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to back its contention.
But Mr Yeo pointed out that the Vienna Convention recognises the difference in the privileges and immunity that diplomats have during their posting to a country, and after they leave the country at the end of their posting.
Article 39(2) says immunity usually ends after a diplomat leaves his posting, except for acts performed 'as a member of the mission'.
Mr Yeo noted that Romanian news reports suggested that some of Ionescu's assets had been seized and Romanian police may be preparing to arrest him. Romanian police also told Interpol that the country had the competence to prosecute Ionescu, who is facing criminal proceedings there.
Said Mr Yeo: 'With these conflicting accounts, the sooner the Romanian legal experts visit us to clarify the situation, exchange views and review the evidence with our legal experts, the better.'
Singapore wants them to arrive by next month. Both countries had agreed to a working group, but the Romanians, pending 'administrative formalities', have not given their arrival dates.
In Parliament yesterday, Ms Ng asked, among other things, if the Romanians had assured Singapore that Ionescu would be charged in Romania.
Mr Yeo believed Bucharest would not want to see 'the entire country's good name tarnished by the actions of one rogue diplomat'.
'Romania is a member state of the European Union which prides itself on its reputation as a community of values. Bucharest understands that more than Romania's own reputation is at stake and that it must live up to the EU's high standards,' he added.
Other diplomats here have told the Government that Ionescu has 'disgraced the entire diplomatic corps'.
Mr Yeo also revealed that the Interpol red notice against Ionescu has been suspended due to the 'disagreement or confusion' over Article 39(2)'s interpretation. Interpol put him on red notice early this month after the Singapore police issued a warrant of arrest against him.
While the notice requests the 188 Interpol member states to arrest him and send him to Singapore, Romania said it could not do so without an extradition treaty.
But Mr Yeo said the Romanian government should still try its best to persuade him to come here. If this fails, Singapore expected Romania to investigate and prosecute him under Romanian law.
The MFA has asked its ambassador in Brussels to visit Romania with the Attorney-General's Chambers' staff to learn about its legal system. A lawyer is also being engaged there to monitor proceedings.
Yesterday, Ionescu told The Straits Times he had gone to a Romanian court last Friday to seek a cancellation of the arrest warrant issued by Singapore on April 1.
He asserted that it was illegal, and that he still had diplomatic immunity.
The warrant was 'just to put mental pressure on me', he said.
Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.