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Romanian media man handed 5½-year sentence for blackmail

March 4, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court on Wednesday sentenced journalist and former politician Dan Diaconescu to 5½ years in prison for blackmailing a mayor and a businessman.

The Bucharest Court of Appeals on Wednesday also sentenced TV producer Doru Parv to four years in the same case. Both men, originally sentenced in 2013, are banned from practicing journalism for five years after their sentences have ended.

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 200,000 euros ($230,000) to stop the broadcast. Mot said he paid 40,000 euros.

Diaconescu was also convicted of blackmailing another businessman in 2005. His populist party won seats in Parliament in 2012, but he failed to win a seat.

“I was preparing to make a speech for being acquitted,” Diaconescu said before being taken to the cells. “I don’t think any Romanian trusts the justice system any longer. I no longer do”

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