Dan Diaconescu, sentenced to three years without parole, for blackmail

Businessman Dan Diaconescu, owner of the OTV television and president of the party PPDD, was sentenced yesterday by the Sector 1 Tribunal to three years of prison, without parole, for blackmailing Ion Mot, the former mayor of the Zarand commune, Arad County, and businessman Paul Petru Tardea. The verdict is not definitive and may be challenged in a higher court. Judges condemned Dan Diaconescu to three years for each of the two acts of blackmail, but the sentences were merged and Dan Diaconescu must spend three years behind bars, if the verdict remains final. The court also prohibited him from exerting several civil rights for three years serving the main sentence.
The tribunal also ruled that Dan Diaconescu and OTV journalist Doru Parv must pay to Ion Mot damages worth EUR 30,000 and RON 42,000, plus the interest calculated since July 1st 2009, plus a moral compensation of EUR 10,000.
Moreover, the court instated a sequester on the assets of Dan Diaconescu, up to the sum of EUR 44,500 and RON 42,000, while also maintaining the sequester instated by the DNA in April 2010 on the assets of Doru Parv.
On 21 october 2010, OTV owner  Dan Diaconescu, Doru Parv and Mitrus Ghezea were indicted by anticorruption prosecutors for blackmailing Ion Mot, then mayor of Zarand, and businessman Paul Petru Tardea. At that date, the National Anticorruption Directorate charged Cristian Dan Diaconescu, majority shareholder in SC Ocram Televiziune SRL and OTV journalist, with two counts of blackmail. Dorel Petru Parv, another OTV journalist and manager of SC Kundalini SRL, “subsequent offender”, and Ghezea Mitrus, former OTV journalist and former CEO of the ‘Atac la persoana’ magazine, were formally charged with blackmail.
According to the indictment presented in court by the DNA, during May-September 2009, Dan Diaconescu repeatedly threatened – both directly, in the show named ‘Dan Diaconescu Direct’ on 21 July 2009, aired by OTV, and indirectly, via Doru Parv, the mayor of Zarand, asking him to pay the total sum of EUR 200,000.
“The threat consisted in unveiling on OTV several real or imaginary deeds, compromising the mayor, such as invoking the fact that it is corrupt and conducted illicit transactions with farmland belonging to the citizens of the commune, causing important losses to some of them, that he has an important wealth obtained illegally and that he makes acts of influence peddling to some ministers,” DNA accused.
Furthermore, in April 2005, Dan Diaconescu repeatedly threatened businessman Paul Petru Tardea both directly, in the show ‘Dan Diaconescu Direct’ of 20 April 2005, and indirectly, through Ghezea Mitrus, the host of the ‘Semnal de alarma’ talk show aired by the same television, in order to obtain from him the total sum of EUR 100,000, of which he actually received EUR 4,500.

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