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Ex-Romanian diplomat's jail term doubled

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An appeals court in Bucharest on Thursday doubled the sentence to six years for a Romanian diplomat convicted of 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' jail 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 judges rejected "out of hand" the appeal of Ionescu to be acquitted and accepted the appeal of the State Prosecutor against the initial sentence which was considered by the state as "too lenient", reported Mediafax News Agency.

A spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Government "welcomes the decision by the Bucharest Court of Appeal to uphold Dr Ionescu's convictions as well as to enhance his sentence".