The Supreme Court extended with 30 days the arrest warrant of Omar Hayssam, against the previous ruling of the lower court, the Court of Appeal, which deemed irrelevant the proofs presented against him by prosecutors.Saturday morning the judges of the Court of Appeal decided, after a night of deliberation, to terminate Hayssamâs arrest warrant on charges of plotting to kidnap the Romanian journalists in Iraq. This decision would not have resulted in Hayssam walking out free, since he had other two arrest warrants issued on his name for the economic crimes he was charged with.
The evidence was inadmissible because it was collected with breach to the law, the Court ruled.
Lengthy arguments between judges and lawyers came to an end in the Supreme Court, which reversed the decision of the lower court and decided to extend Hayssamâs arrest warrant on kidnapping and terrorism charges. Hayssam will stay for another 30 days in jail while he is investigated for his alleged crimes.
The proceedings of the courts were not public, for national security reasons, the media was told by authorities. Hayssamâs lawyers contested two of the ruling judges: Margareta Teodorescu, for she ruled a month before on the arrest of Hayssam, and Gheorghe Gherasim, for having been deputy prosecutor general before becoming a judge. The lawyers did not succeed in their attempt to stall the ruling and get another court line-up. The court session proceeded swiftly, with the Supreme Court extending for another 30 days the arrest warrant against Hayssam, on terrorist charges. Though Hayssam did not get what he wanted, a lot of damage had been done, since the faults in the investigation regarding the terrorism charges had been exposed.
This is more disturbing since President Traian Basescu - breaching the presumption of innocent until proven guilty - already stated publicly that Omar Hayssam and shis accomplicet Mohammad Mounaf were guilty as charged.
"The Supreme Court admitting the appeal filed by the Prosecutorâs Office only encourages such superficial investigations to be conducted in the future too. This is a highly sensitive case, since it was hugely broadcast in the media and sentences were cast from high places of authority before any trial taking place; hence a same judge should not have ruled in two different stages of the trial," said Spanu.
He added that rules of penal investigation were not observed when collecting the evidence and the hearings of witnesses in Iraq were inadmissible too because Iraqi procedure was used, hence no lawyers were present. Hayssam was arrested on April 5, on terrorism charges, the Presidency stated then.
But prosecutors were citing only economic charges. Only when the journalists were released from captivity did the prosecutors confirm that the kidnapping was planned in Romania, according to statements collected in Iraq. Omar Hayssam may ask to be investigated while out of prison in 30-day time.