3-year prison sentence for ex-Romanian diplomat

A Romanian court on Wednesday handed a three-year prison sentence to a former Romanian diplomat for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident in Singapore.

A Bucharest district court sentenced Silviu Ionescu, a former embassy attache in Singapore, after he was convicted of manslaughter and fleeing the site of the accident. Neither Ionescu nor his attorneys were present at the court.

Ionescu later said he would appeal the ruling, calling the Romanian justice system unfair.

"I am sorry for Romania, for the Romanian justice system... It's become like the time of the Inquisition, when you can be condemned without real proof," the news agency Mediafax quoted him as saying.

Ionescu had testified that he had been set up by authorities in the Asian city-state but did not explain why anyone would want to do that.

He was accused of hitting two pedestrians with his car early on Dec. 15, 2009, and then hitting and injuring a third person while driving away. One of the injured men died 10 days later.

Ionescu returned to Romania immediately after the accident, citing diplomatic immunity. He said he had not been driving the embassy vehicle because it had been stolen earlier.