BRUSSELS, Belgium – The criminal investigation of a Romanian television station has been branded part of an “orchestrated attack” on media freedom by an MEP who is demanding the European Commission intervenes.
Romania’s Antena 3, which is owned by Intact Media Group, faces an investigation by the country’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for featuring corruption allegations of a Romanian businessman.
But National Liberal Party MEP Norica Nicolai says this is not part of the DNA remit adding: “Investigating an entire media Group from CEOs to journalists and technical staff on the basis of an alleged act of one of its CEOs is a sheer intimidation and can be a dangerous precedent.”
Ms Nicolai added that the television channel, which broadcasts independent news to a large audience, is “simply doing its job”.
And she claimed that this isn’t the first time Antena 3 has felt pressure. In the past President Traian Basescu has called for a boycott of Antena 3 following critical coverage of his leadership.
“We are witnessing an orchestrated attack here, following many others, demonstrating that DNA lost all pretense of independence,” Ms Nicolai said.
“It is high time that the Commission, which monitors Romania through its Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, acts on the threats to media freedom in the country.”
Ms Nicolai has made this plea in a letter to European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Vivian Reding, and she says she hopes to receive “an objective answer” in the near future.