The runaway diplomat Dr Silviu Ionescu is confirmed to be a culprit (and a coward, at that) in a hit-and-run accident

Dr Silviu Ionescu. Previously a suspect in a hit-and-run accident that injured two & killed one has now been reported to be the one who drove the car fast & furious.

Little surprise that he once said (after escaping to his country Romania) that he won't be back to Singapore.

Now is a matter of how well the cooperation between Interpol Bucharest and Singapore police.

Shall we finally witness the long arm of law caught this crook? Let's patiently wait & see...

On a separate news (from Malaysia's Bernama), it mentions how the dead victim's mother sought the assistance of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in Kuala Lumpur to seek justice for her son.

It's getting more complicated & pressurizing for Singapore to bring a satisfying (and just!) end to this case.

AT LEAST 35 witnesses will be called at a coroner's inquiry into the death of a hotel assistant manager who was run over by a Romanian diplomat's car in December.

The inquiry into the death of Malaysian Tong Kok Wai, 30, a Singapore permanent resident, will be held from March 3 to 10.

Mr Tong died on Christmas Day - 10 days after a hit-and-run accident at Bukit Panjang - after he was taken off life support.

Romanian diplomat was the driver

SENIOR STATE Counsel Lau Wing Yum said said extensive police investigations showed that the car was not stolen and that Dr Ionescu was behind the wheel at the time of the two accidents.

Dr Ionescu flew back to Romania three days later. He has since been recalled by the Romanian government.

But Mr Lau said his whereabouts is not known. He added that the Singapore police are in contact with Interpol Bucharest.

From Asiaone, "Hit-and-run inquest March".

AT LEAST 35 witnesses will be called at a coroner's inquiry into the death of a hotel assistant manager who was run over by a Romanian diplomat's car in December.

The inquiry into the death of Malaysian Tong Kok Wai, 30, a Singapore permanent resident, will be held from March 3 to 10.

Mr Tong died on Christmas Day - 10 days after a hit-and-run accident at Bukit Panjang - after he was taken off life support.

The newly-wed and Malaysian waiter Bong Hwee Haw, 24, were walking on the pedestrian crossing at the junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Bangkit Road at about 3.10am on Dec 15 when they were hit by an embassy car. The car sped off and hit an 18-year-old student at the next controlled junction.

Principal Senior State Counsel Lau Wing Yum revealed this in court on Wednesday while giving a brief summary of what happened that fateful day.

He said the Romanian charge d'affaires, Dr Silviu Ionescu, 49, reported the loss of his car at 3.40am that day. The car, with its front windscreen smashed and bonnet dented, was found locked and abandoned at Sungei Kadut Avenue later that day.

From Straits Times, "Hit-and-run inquest March".

Police investigations have revealed that Romanian diplomat, Dr Silviu Ionescu, was the driver of a car that was involved in a hit-and-run accident on December 15 last year.

The accident resulted in the death of a 30-year-old Singapore permanent resident, Tong Kok Wai, and injured two others.

Deputy Principal Senior State Counsel Lau Wing Yum told the Coroner's Court on Wednesday that the state will "lead evidence that 49-year-old Dr Ionescu is criminally concerned in causing Mr Tong's death".

The court heard that the car from the Romanian Embassy hit Mr Tong and another pedestrian, 24-year-old Bong Hwee Haw, as they were crossing the road at a traffic junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Bangkit Road, at around 3.10am on December 15.

Instead of stopping, the car sped off. It hit 18-year-old Muhammad Haris Abu Talib at the next controlled junction.

Mr Lau told the State Coroner, Victor Yeo, that the traffic lights were in favour of the pedestrians in both instances.

Mr Lau also said that Dr Ionescu made a 999 call about 30 minutes after the accidents to report that the car, a black Audi, had been stolen. Police investigations, however, revealed that the car was not stolen.

The vehicle was recovered at around 11am that day, locked and abandoned at 21 Sungei Kadut Avenue. Mr Lau said the right side of the car's front windscreen was smashed. The front bonnet and the driver's door were dented.

Dr Ionescu left Singapore for Romania on December 18 - as he said that he was seeking treatment for health problems.

All three pedestrians who were involved in the accidents were sent to the National University Hospital.

However, Mr Tong, who suffered fractures to his right leg and skull, succumbed to his injuries and died on Christmas Day - 10 days after the accident. His widow, Yenny Young, has engaged prominent criminal lawyer, Subhas Anandan.

Mr Bong has engaged a team led by N Srinivasan from Hoh Law Corporation. He wants to be compensated for the injuries he sustained. Mr Srinivasan told reporters that his client, who has already returned to Sarawak, incurred hospital bills amounting to nearly S$50,000.

The pre-inquiry conference for this case will be held on February 24. The coroner's inquiry will begin on March 3. At least 35 witnesses will be called at the inquiry.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Police investigations reveal Dr Ionescu was driver of car that hit 3 people in Dec".

The Singapore authority will hold a coroner's inquiry into the death of Malaysian Tong Kok Wai, a Singapore permanent resident who died after a hit-and-run accident involving a Romanian diplomat's car last month.

Over 30 witnesses will be called to testify in the inquiry to be held from March 3 to 10.

Tong, 30, a hotel assistant manager died 10 days after being hit by a car while crossing the road with Sarawakian waiter Bong Hwee Haw, 24, in Bukit Panjang in the early hours of Dec 15 last year.

It was reported by the local media that the car sped off and hit an 18-year-old student, Muhammad Haris Abu Talib, at the next pedestrian crossing. Both Bong and Haris suffered serious head and bodily injuries.

Earlier this month, Tong's mother, Tong Ah Mooi, 59, sought the assistance of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in Kuala Lumpur to seek justice for her son.

On Wednesday, principal senior state counsel Lau Wing Yum revealed in court that Romanian charge d'affaires Dr Silviu Ionescu, 49, was the man behind the wheel at the time of the double accidents that morning.

He said police investigation had shown that the car was not stolen as claimed by the diplomat although it was found locked and abandoned at Sungei Kadut Avenue later that day on Dec 15, with its front windscreen smashed and driver's door and bonnet dented.

It was reported that Ionescu left Singapore for Romania three days after the incident and had since been recalled by the Romania government.

Lau said Ionescu's whereabouts were not known but the Singapore police were in contact with Interpol in Bucharest.

Also earlier this month, Aurelian Neagu, Romania's ambassador to Singapore but based in Tokyo, Japan, met Singapore Foreign Ministry officials to present the Romanian authorities' standpoint connected to the accident but no details were released on the meeting.

From Bernama, "Singapore Coroner's Inquiry Into Death Of Malaysian".



Update on 31/03/10: the expected verdict is out, the obvious killer is named.

FORMER Romanian diplomat Dr Silviu Ionescu was found on Wednesday to have caused the death of a pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident in Bukit Panjang last December.

State Coroner Victor Yeo said he was satisfied that the State had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the driver of the black Audi car involved in the Dec 15 accident was none other than Dr Ionescu, 49, then the charge d'affaires of the Romanian Embassy.

After a six-day inquiry into the death of Malaysian Tong Kok Wai, 30, an assistant manager, earlier this month , the coroner recorded a verdict of death due to the reckless act of a known person.

Coroner Yeo also found that Dr Ionescu, who had since returned to Romania, had deliberately lied about his Audi car being stolen from outside the embassy at Jalan Harom Setangkai, near Farrer Road, shortly after the accident.

The inquiry also heard that the ex-diplomat had severely injured Mr Tong's close friend, Mr Bong Hwee Haw, 24, who was using the pedestrian crossing, when they were hit.

Mr Bong, who is now back in Kuching, Sarawak, could not remember what happened except that the lights were in their favour at the time.

Dr Ionescu did not stop and went on to hit Institute of Education student Muhammmad Haris Abu Tabli, 19, at the next junction of Bukit Panjang and Pending Road.

From Straits Times, "Ionescu caused death".

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