THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday expressed regret on the Romanian court's decision to release former diplomat Silviu Ionescu from judicial supervision.
Said an MFA spokesman, in response to media queries: 'We have to respect the Court's decision but understand that the Romanian Prosecutors' Office is appealing against the decision.
'In any case, this does not mean that he will not stand trial. We will continue to monitor the situation and expect the Romanian authorities to honour their assurances that justice will be served.'
A Romanian court in Bucharest on Thursday granted Ionescu's request to be released from detention,which means he would be freed by Saturday for the duration of the trial - if the prosecutors do not appeal file an appeal within 24 hours, said his lawyer Nelu Tasca.
The 50-year-old former charge d'affaires is accused of hitting three pedestrians in a hit-and-run accident in Bukit Panjang on Dec 15 last year. One of them, assistant manager Tong Kok Wai, 30, a Malaysian, died.
Ionescu's lawyer had previously argued that the prosecution did not have any evidence to pinpoint his whereabouts at the scene of the accident, so his client should be released and tried as a free man. The former diplomat had also said he was his family's sole breadwinner.
Ionescu faces charges of culpable homicide, causing personal injury, making false statements and leaving the scene of an accident.
The trial had started last month, during which the former diplomat had maintained his innocence. Ionescu has repeatedly denied being behind the wheel of the Romanian Embassy car that had knocked down the three men, and insisted that it was stolen.
The next hearing of Ionescu's trial has been set for Nov 17.
Source: MFA regrets release