|Interpol Red Notice of arrest against Silviu Ionescu suspended |
By S Ramesh |Posted: 26 April 2010 1631 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said Monday Interpol's Red Notice of arrest against Silviu Ionescu has been suspended.
This is due to disagreement between the two countries as to whether the Romanian diplomat had immunity at the time of accident last December.
During question time, Mr Yeo revealed that the Romanian Foreign Ministry sent Singapore a Third Party Note on Friday, asserting that Dr Ionescu's diplomatic immunity continues.
A31.1 states: "A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. ..."
A31.4 states: "The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State."
I must add however, that I think the key to solving this problem is in the understanding the spirit in which the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) (please click on the link, the preamble is contained in the first few sentences, sentence 2 and 3 being the most important).
|"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," Mr Yeo explained.|
Article 31.4 provides recourse to that, and Romania, now salvaging its pride, should be rightfully be allowed to uphold it's side of the bargain according to the prior agreement.
Hath our own Minister lapsed in his appreciation of the spirit of the VCDR as mentioned in the short preamble paragraph: ".... the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations concerning the sovereign equality of States, the maintenance of international peace and security, and the promotion of friendly relations among nations,..."?
So if in the first place, if Singapore indeed accepts Romania as a "sovereign state", and through the VCDR accepted the validity of Romanian laws and persecution system as applicable to its diplomats, then in accordance to VCDR Article 31.4, shouldn't Singapore should allow Romania opportunity to perform its rightful part in solving this problem?
Singapore's back peddling and insinuations about the credibility of the Romanian Government are thus inappropriate and insulting.
|"On the other hand, reports in the Romanian media suggest that some of Dr Ionescu's assets had been seized and the Romanian police may be preparing to arrest him. We have not been unable(sic) to confirm these reports.|
|"But the Romanian Police has informed Interpol that the competence to prosecute Dr Ionescu remains with Romania and the criminal proceedings against him have started in Romania for crimes committed in Singapore."|
|Nonetheless, Mr Yeo, who met his Romanian counterpart at the Vatican a few days ago, said the Romanian government has been acting properly in Dr Silveo Ionescu's case.|
|He said Singapore has to allow them time to go through their own internal procedures.|
|"I believe the Romanian Government understands this and would not see the entire country's name tarnished by the actions of one rogue diplomat," Mr Yeo said. "Romania is a member state of the EU, which prides itself on its reputation as a community of values. |
"Despite the impatience that we feel, we must however be disciplined and carefully observe due process. We are a country that respects the law and this reputation is an invaluable asset we must preserve by handling the case calmly in accordance with our legal system and international legal obligations.
"Now that the Romanian Authorities have begun their criminal investigations against Dr Ionescu we must give them time to complete these investigations and not prejudge the outcome."
|Mr Yeo said he hopes officials and legal experts from both sides could meet soon, under a joint working group that has been formed for this purpose. |
Singapore is also engaging a lawyer to hold a watching brief in Romania.
We have wasted enough time on this drunken and noisy clown, anyone game now for the real work of diplomacy?
- Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
- INTERPOL Notices & Diffusions
- [13Jan2010] Quiet diplomacy not a sign of weakness
- [MyPaper 23Feb2010] Let Romania deal with diplomat
- "România and Singapore established on 30 May 1967, diplomatic relations between the embassies according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."(8April2010: Bucharestherald.ro) International search warrant for Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu
- 18April2010: Ionescu Interpol Notice withdrawn?
This article has also been posted to the following forums for discussion:
27April2010: Interpol Red Notice of arrest against Silviu Ionescu suspen
27April2010: Romanian diplomat Ionescu was the driver in fatal hit-and-run
27April2010: Possible consequences on Singapore-Romania relations: analysts
27April2010: Romanian diplomat's car in hit-and-run: cover up?