Friday, September 17, 2010

Romanian media owner arrested on charges of helping man convicted of fraud, is freed

By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — The owner of an influential Romanian TV station, charged with helping a man convicted of fraud, is being released from jail.

Critics have charged that the case against Sorin Ovidiu Vantu is politically motivated, as President Traian Basescu tries to divert attention from economic problems. Vantu's Realitatea TV reports critically on the government. He also owns several newspapers.

Bucharest's Appeal Court ruled Thursday that Vantu can be released during the investigation. He was arrested Sept. 10.

Vantu is charged with helping Nicolae Popa leave Romania illegally in 2002 before Popa was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud in connection with the collapse of an investment scheme. Vantu also allegedly helped Popa financially while he was abroad.

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