Heavier jail term for Romania ex-diplomat in Singapore crash

BUCHAREST - An appeals court in Bucharest on Thursday doubled the sentence to six years for a Romanian diplomat convicted for a deadly hit-and-run accident in Singapore in 2009.

Silviu Ionescu, Romania's charge d'affaires in Singapore at the time, was initially sentenced to three years behind bars after being found guilty of manslaughter for hitting three pedestrians in December 2009 while driving a car belonging to the Romanian mission.

One of the pedestrians, a 30-year-old Malaysian, died.

The appeals court also found him guilty of inflicting injuries and fleeing from the location of the crash, according to the ruling.

His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

During his trial, which started in 2010, the ex-diplomat repeatedly said he was framed by the Singapore authorities because of critical reports he sent to the Romanian foreign ministry as head of the diplomatic mission in the city-state.

His defence team argued during the trial that he should be acquitted on the grounds that there was no direct evidence linking him to the crime.

Ionescu fled Singapore shortly after the accident.