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 yesterday also sentenced a colleague to three years in prison and another to two and a half 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 €200,000 (US$270,000) to stop the broadcast. Mot said he paid €40,000 (US$64,000).
Diaconescu was also convicted of blackmailing another business-man in 2005.
Diaconescu's populist party won seats in Parliament in 2012, but he failed to win a seat.