Thursday, December 19, 2013

Romanian media tycoon sentenced for blackmail

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) A court has sentenced media tycoon and former politician Dan Diaconescu to three years in prison for blackmailing a mayor and a businessman.

A Bucharest court Wednesday also sentenced a colleague to three years in prison and another to 2 years for blackmail in the same case. The ruling can be appealed.

Diaconescu says the charges are politically motivated. The court said Diaconescu and his colleagues threatened Ion Mot, mayor of Zarand, in 2009, broadcasting corruption allegations on the popular "Dan Diaconescu Live!" show. They demanded euros 200,000 ($270,000) to stop the broadcast. Mot said he paid euros 40,000 ($64,000).

Diaconescu was also convicted of blackmailing another businessman in 2005.

Diaconescu's populist party won seats in Parliament in 2012, but he failed to win a seat.

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