Just wondering, its been a couple months now since any news came out about Silviu Ionescu.. I still hope justice is sought but what has happened? =( I feel especially sad for the families who lost their loved ones =(
Can anyone update me? I've been out of the country for a number of months now and this case seems to me, has just faded out of the public eye =/
Anyway, according to 'Ionescu hearing in Bucharest postponed to January 12' [CNA,17Nov2010]: "At Wednesday's hearing in Bucharest, the Singapore lawyer representing NTUC Income Insurance requested for the postponement... Desmond Tan from Lee and Lee Advocates told the court he will need to consult a Romanian lawyer and inform if he will be in court on that date in January. ... "
So these diplomatic things take time and require due process and the due diligence, of many quiet behind the scenes workers, police, judiciary, SG MFA officers, Romanian MFA officers, Romanian Govt et al etc .
Just big national wayang show for whatever reason (knee jerk to show strength) really won't help. In the first place, what are the ties btw the 2 countries for- just economic reasons? Why wasn't an extradition treaty talked about earlier (when Ionescu was so free, he had so much time to enjoy himself in SG- wine, women, song et al.).
So that's the problem with the $$$ only mentality of SG- diplomacy only for economic relations, and when things go wrong, all go berserk and cry foul!
My suggestion for such cases in future:
- Knowing full well tt the requisites of the VCDR's definition of diplomatic immunity and that
inthe spirit of mutual trust between nations and tradition ofis what 'diplomatic privilege' entails, all foreign diplomats accepted in SG should be scrutinized closely and rejected both promptly and diplomatically.
- Accepted Foreign Diplomats should be engaged more frequently so that they can be accustomed to the local culture and laws.
- Terms of the VCDR, if mutually accepted should be followed judiciously so that there isn't any confusion NOR nationalistic one-upmanship necessary in the unfortunate event of the diplomat committing some legal transgression in the host country.
- Relationships between host and sender country should be maintained at a high level, not just for economic concerns but also for other socio- cultural relations- that's what diplomacy is all about right.
Hopefully SG and Romania learn a lesson or 2 about keeping to contract and complying with mutual responsibilities- an eventuality which is playing itself out now only after much rigmarole.
Let the NTUC/Lee & Lee lawyer from do his bit in now arguing for justice to be served, if not in the criminal sense, then at least in the civil sense (NTUC case).
Besides expecting prompt action from the government, people should also demand that due and proper process be followed (that their govt not renege on foreign contracts for the instant gratification of local popularity).
If only SG MFA could provide their Romanian diplomatic counterparts with videos of the SG court witness testimonies that would make the court process in Romania much smoother, efficacious and save witness the need for many intercontinental flights to testify.
Perhaps the situation can be salvaged if SG volunteers to provide video link-up so that SG witness can assist with Romanian court proceedings, let technology bolster the relations between our 2 countries.
Written in the spirit of good and growing diplomatic relations,
06Jan2011: What happened to the Silviu Ionescu case?