Friday, May 31, 2013

Romania: TV chief detained on blackmail suspicion

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The manager of an influential private television group has been detained on suspicion of attempting to blackmail a company manager into signing a contract with the television station.

Prosecutors said Sorin Alexandrescu, general manager of the Antena TV Group, had threatened to go public with allegedly compromising facts about the person.

The Antena group reported the company was a cable provider with which it has been embroiled in a two-year dispute over prices. The stations are known for their opposition to President Traian Basescu.

Alexandrescu was detained late Thursday. Prosecutors called for a 29-day arrest warrant that would lead to formal charges and a trial.

In recent years, Romanian television stations have been hit by dwindling advertising budgets. Industry officials claim some stations attempt blackmail to get advertising.

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