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Antena slams CEO blackmail charges

Sorin-Alexandrescu-01Romanian free-to-air broadcaster Antena has said the arrest of its CEO violated several of his rights and alleged the charges are ‘abusive’.

Sorin Alexandrescu (pictured) was detained last Thursday (May 30) after allegedly blackmailing another media executive. Prosecutors are reportedly calling for a 29-day arrest warrant that would in turn lead to charges and a trial.

Privately-owned Antena told TBI this morning that Alexandrescu was released yesterday following a legal appeal and the case will proceed with the executive out of detention.

Full details have yet to emerge but Antena indicated that the complainant was from a pay TV platform with which it has clashed in recent times.

In a statement, Antena said: “It appears that the file was created under the denunciation of a representative of the cable company RCS&RDS, the company that decided to remove several TV channels of the Antena Group from its listing of DTH TV channels in the 2012 elections year.”

Responding to Alexandrescu’s detainment the company claimed: “The CEO of Antena 1 Romanian TV station has been abusively charged on the suspicion of blackmail by the National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD), following a hearing that violated a series of human rights and fundamental liberties.”

The company further alleged that the NAD is targeting it after its journalists criticised the organisation.

“This is the first major case of the new managerial system of the National Anticorruption Directorate, and it targets directly the representative of the Antena Group who openly criticised the structure of the General Prosecution and the NAD,” it said.