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September 23, 2020
POLITICS

Head of Antena TV Group placed under preventive arrest for 29 days

His lawyer announced that he has already appealed against the court’s decision.

After Sorin Alexandrescu, the director of Antena Group, was detained for 24 hours on Thursday, on Friday he was placed under 29-day preventive arrest following the blackmail accusations brought against him by the administrator of RCS&RDS cable company. Gheorghita Mateut, Alexandrescu’s lawyer, has announced that he has appealed against the ruling. The appeal will be analyzed by the Bucharest Court.
The prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) have announced in an official communiqué that Alexandrescu is investigated for blackmail. The prosecutors accuse Sorin Alexandrescu of allegedly forcing a company administrator to sign a contract on pre-set conditions that the defendant imposed under the threat that unless he does so the defendant will reveal allegedly compromising facts about the administrator. Dumitru Dragomir, the head of the Professional Football League, stated subsequently that the company concerned is the RCS&RDS cable company with which Dan Voiculescu’s media trust has waged a long war in recent years. According to the DNA communiqué, the alleged blackmail took place from April 16 to May 24.
Lawyer Gheorghita Mateut invoked in court DNA’s lack of competence of investigating this case because no damage has been calculated. He also claimed that the prosecutors were unable to prove that Sorin Alexandrescu blackmailed someone. Gheorghita Mateut also stated that Sorin Alexandrescu has already given a statement before judges, denying the allegations that he threatened or blackmailed the administrator of RCS&RDS.
According to ‘Romania Libera’ daily, which is quoting a DNA document, Sorin Alexandrescu was recorded as he was blackmailing RCS&RDS administrator Ioan Bendei during their first meeting on April 16 this year. Subsequent meetings and phone conversations were also recorded. Among them there are phone conversations with a woman from the trust’s leadership. The woman is possibly Camelia Voiculescu, the daughter of Dan Voiculescu, since she talks about her “dad.” Other conversations are with a man that could be Dan Voiculescu himself.
According to ‘Azi’ daily, the blackmail accusation was carefully prepared by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and DNA, which organized a phone tapping operation in the attempt to construct a case for blackmail.
“It’s a desperate attempt from Basescu’s people to find something within the Intact Trust,” Antena 3 journalist Radu Tudor stated.
“The DNA investigation that concerns the Antena 1 director takes place precisely during the days in which the European Commission delegation is in Romania for the CVM,” Adina Anghelescu, investigation journalist at luju.ro stated. She drew attention to the fact that in a civilized country it is not possible for people to be brought before prosecutors without being subpoenaed first, albeit as witnesses, only for them to then “end up being charged.”
At the same time, Romania TV claimed on Saturday evening during a show that Antena 3 journalists are being used by Dan Voiculescu as a group that puts pressure on government members. Quoting sources close to the officials, but also from within the Antena stations, RTV claims that each of the Antena 3 stars is given a minister or politician to put pressure on at Voiculescu’s order. According to RTV, the goal of the pressures is to obtain various benefits from those targeted.
Last but not least, Mihai Motoc, one of the shareholders of the CCSB polling institute, stated on Romania TV that Voiculescu used to call him and exert pressure in relation to the results of some polls conducted by the institute and claimed that Voiculescu recorded the conversations with him and other persons.
Motoc is one of the CCSB shareholders, owning 18 per cent of the shares alongside Camelia Voiculescu (67 per cent) and Mirel Palada (15 per cent), as he himself stated on RTV on Friday evening.
Motoc stated that he never gave in to Voiculescu’s pressures, this resulting in his resignation from the position of director general. “I’ve always respected my job. That is why I’m no longer the company’s administrator,” Motoc explained. Voiculescu’s reaction was allegedly fairly inelegant.

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