Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ex-Romanian TV boss, union leader, others arrested


A court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a former TV boss and a union leader on charges they bankrupted a company and laundered tens of thousands of euros.

The Bucharest court ordered the arrest of Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, until recently the owner of influential Realitatea TV, and union leader Liviu Luca, and eight others for 29 days pending trial.

Prosecutors said the ten — businessmen and company employees — laundered more than euro83,000 ($114,000) from Petrom Service SA, a company that maintained and repaired gasoline pipes, in which Vantu had shares.

Prosecutors said they siphoned money into other ventures — transferring funds to other companies including Realitatea Media SA — before deliberately bankrupting Petrom in 2009.

Realitatea TV is critical of the government and Vantu is bitterly disliked by President Traian Basescu. Vantu says charges against him are politically motivated.

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