The Arab businessman charged with terrorism for kidnapping three Romanian journalists in Iraq fled the country, the General Prosecutor confirmed in a press release on Tuesday. The prosecutors will request an international search mandate from the Court of Appeal Bucharest.

The clarification came after the Interior minister Vasile Blaga said that Hayssam might have got out of the country. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Syrian businessman be brought back to prison on July 19 on grounds of delaying the justice act following his absence from the trial. The Romanian authorities have been searching for Hayssam since then.

Hayssam was released on April 26, 2006 due to the serious condition of his cancer, and his preventive custody was replaced with the ban of leaving the country.