The Romanian top prosecutors have extended inquiries against the editor of a national newspaper whom they now suspect of belonging to an organized crime ring. If found guilty, journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu, editor of the Bucharest-based "Ziua" newspaper, may receive up to 20 years in prison.

Stanescu has been claiming that judicial moves against him are part of a political case, "a conspiration set by Traian Basescu", the Romanian President.

Stanescu is well-known for his close relationship with businessman Dinu Patriciu, who controls the Rompetrol oil company. Patriciu himself is accused of creating the organized crime ring and revealed prosecutors told him today they included Stanescu, along with former IT&C minister Sorin Pantis and a high equities official, Paul Miclaus, in the group.

Sorin Rosca Stanescu had been previously accused of taking advantage of privileged information related to the listing of Rompetrol on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.