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Antena blackmail trial gets underway

The trial of Sorin Alexandrescu (left), CEO of Romanian free-to-air broadcaster Antena Group, has started in Bucharest.

Sorin-Alexandrescu-01Romanian free-to-air Antena Group was indicted by the country’s new anti-corruption body, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on blackmail charges, in a case relating to the alleged blackmailing of cable company RCS&RDS.

Alexandrescu was originally detained, for a week, starting at the end of May. The Antena boss subsequently unsuccessfully filed a complaint against pay TV operator RCS&RDS administrator Ioan Bendei.

A complicated legal process is already underway that covers eight separate complaints between Antena, part of Voiculescu family-owned Intact Media Group, and RCS&RDS. Each party is seeking millions of Euros of compensation from the other.

One complaint was resolved earlier this month when a Romanian court ordered RCS&RDS to reinstate Intact Media’s male-skewing sport channel GSPTV, which it had pulled from its line-up back in 2011.

The next court date is December 3.

Intact Media Group operates the free-to-air Antena1 , Antena 2 and Antena 3 channels as well as Euforia and GSPTV.