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UPDATE: Romanian public TV "censored": broadcast of second video on Agriculture minister allegedly taking bribe is banned

Joi, 11 octombrie 2007, 0:00

Alexandru Sassu
Photo: Rompres

Alexandru Sassu, the president of Romania’sublic television society SRTv, which controls the TVR1 channel, banned on Thursday the broadcast of a second episode of footage that depicts outgoing Agriculture minister Decebal Traian Remes allegedly taking bribes.

A first episode of the footage, which stands as evidence in a graft case involving Remes, was broacast on Wednesday evening, sparking a way of political protests and prompting the minister’s resignation early today.

Sassu also threatened journalists and the head of the News Department of the TVR Rodica Culcer with sanctions in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

The statement came shortly after it was announced that the News Department was planning to broacast new footage with minister Remes, former Agriculture minister Ioan Muresan and a businessman carrying packs of sausages and alcoholic drinks at Remes’ home in Baia Mare, northern Romania.

According to prosecutors, the packs were part of the bribe that Remes allegedly received from businessman Gheorghe Ciorba, via Muresan, in exchange for the minister’s favors in public tenders.

According to Rodica Culcer, TVR was “censored” and made incapable to broadcast the images promised for tonight. She said she did not expect Sassu to make such a move as a day before he had said any journalist who would get his hands on such footage would have broadcast it.

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