Ex-Antena Group head Sorin Alexandrescu receives jail sentence in blackmail case

Ovidiu Posirca 28/06/2017 | 16:18

Sorin Alexandrescu, the former head of Antena Group, has received a jail sentence of 4 years and six months, in a high profile case in which the media conglomerate founded by Dan Voiculescu was accused of blackmailing the former administrator of RCS&RDS, Ioan Bendei.

Dan Voiculescu, who is serving a 10-year jail sentence in a separate case, was acquitted, while Camelia Voiculescu, his daughter, got a suspended jail sentence of 1 year and six months.

Initially, Alexandrescu was sentenced to 3 years and a half in jail, while Dan Voiculescu got 2 years.

The group received a fine of RON 200,000 for blackmail and judges at Romania’s High Court ordered Antena Group to broadcast the sentence 10 times on Antena 1 TV channel.

According to investigators, Alexandrescu pressured Bendei so that RCS&RDS would ink a 5-year deal worth EUR 6.5 million annually to retransmit all the TV channels belonging to Antena Group. Prosecutors claimed that Antena Group planned a smear campaign against RCS&RDS if the contract would not be signed.

The campaign against the telecom group did not start and only a teaser was broadcasted on TV channels belonging to Antena Group. RCS&RDS refused to sign the contract.

The former head of tax administration agency ANAF, Serban Pop, also got a suspended jail sentence. Prosecutors said that Pop leaked private fiscal documents to Alexandrescu to support his blackmailing of the RCS&RDS executive. Another executive in one of the companies within Intact Group also got a suspended jail sentence.

Meanwhile, Bendei is a prosecuted in a separate case, alongside other current and former executives of RCS&RDS.

Antena Group said in a statement that the court’s ruling will not impact its ongoing operations or future plans.

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