Hit-and-run incident involving Romanian diplomat – witness testimonies at coroner’s inquiry

6 March, 2010 § Leave a comment

The coroner’s inquiry into the hit-and-run incident in Singapore last year involving a Romanian embassy vehicle has commenced.

Testimony of Korean teacher

Ms Jeong Ae Ree, a Korean singing teacher, told the coroner’s court that Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu attended several functions with her on the night of 14 December 2009.

According to Ms Jeong, their first stop was a function at the Shangri-La Hotel where they consumed some wine. They then proceeded to Clarke Quay, where they had drinks at a Turkish restaurant and watched belly-dancing.

Subsequently, they headed to a karaoke lounge in Sophia Road for more drinks. The incident involving an Audi A6 embassy car happened hours later, and Ms Jeong said that by that time she was at home and was unware of the accident. She only realised what had happened that night when the police contacted her.

Testimony of taxi driver

Mr Neo Hock Beng picked up a man, whom he later identified as Dr Silviu Ionescu, at Sungei Kadut Avenue in the early hours of 15 December 2009. The Sungei Kadut area was where the Romanian embassy car was later found.

According to the Trans-Cab driver’s statement, he was driving along Woodlands Road when he saw a big Caucasian man wearing a suit at the T-junction of Sungei Kadut Avenue at around 3.15am.

The man boarded the cab and told the driver to head to Bukit Timah Road. During the journey, the man asked him how to call the police and the driver told him to dial 999. Mr Neo overheard the man telling someone on the phone that his car was missing.

Mr Neo said, ‘As I had the feeling that this passenger was having some trouble, I decided to print and keep the taxi receipt.’ Sometime later, the Traffic Police contacted him and he gave the police his statement and also handed over the taxi receipt of $20.20.

Testimony of vehicle experts

Two vehicle experts informed the coroner’s court that the Audi vehicle involved in the incident had anti-theft features which made it impossible for it to be driven off with duplicate keys.

Both experts told the court that every Audi A6 came with three keys that are unique to each car and there were no records that the embassy’s car keys had been lost or stolen. Mr Boo Seng Yak, the assessor for all Audi vehicles involved in accidents in Singapore, said checks on the Audi A6 did not show any signs that it had been ‘tampered with or broken into’.

Source: The Straits Times

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