JUSTICE MEDIA

Tax authority brings Antena broadcaster to court over eviction

The National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) has filed a petition with the Bucharest District 1 Courthouse for the eviction of Antena TV Group SA, Intact Production SRL, Antena 3 SA and Sangold Development SRL from the buildings repossessed by the state.

 

According to the courts’ website, the petition was filed on Tuesday by the General Regional Directorate with the Bucharest Public Finances as governmental representative for an eviction.

 

The court set March 17 for hearings in the new case.

 

The new case started after officials of the Intact group of companies argued there was no court ruling for the eviction of its television channels from the buildings located on the Bucharest-Ploiesti Road.

 

Last week, ANAF sent a five-day eviction notice to Antena 1 and Antena 3 broadcasters.

 

The notice was drawn up in order to enforce court order 701/26.09.2013, made final and binding under court order 888/A/08.08.2014, issued by the Criminal Branch II of the Bucharest Court of Appeal.

 

Shortly after, Antena 3 executives claimed that ANAF stormed the buildings with unprecedented forces, thus directly threatening the freedom of expression by endangering the broadcasting by Antena 3, Antena 1, Antena Stars, Euforia tv and Zu tv, all Intact media members.

 

Antena 3 also complained about what it called an abusive demarche of the authorities because, they argued, the Intact media organisations were refused the right to a fair solution following a court order of August 8, 2014: ”they were not allowed to take under lease the spaces, over which the same laws and courts of Romania have established Intact’s preemptive rights, and they also failed to come up with a reasonable schedule for vacating the impounded premises.”

 

On August 8, 2014, the Bucharest Court of Appeal issued a final and binding 10-year-sentence on Dan Voiculescu, a former owner of the Intact media holdings, for fraudulent privatisation of an agricultural research institute, on which premises a building was erected housing some of the Intact media organisations. The court also established the damage in this case at 60 million euros, ordering the impounding of real estate owned by Dan Voiculescu that will be switched under Government’s ownership free of encumbrances.

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