Romania court orders TV station to pay damages to prosecutor

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A court on Tuesday ordered a television station to pay damages to Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutor for making defamatory remarks about her.

The appeal’s court in the city of Ploiesti ordered Antena 3 and three commentators to pay 300,000 lei ($79,000) in damages to National Anti-Corruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.

The court told the station to issue an apology to Kovesi for three consecutive days. The ruling can be appealed.

Kovesi sued the station over a 2014 talk show where allegations were aired that she and others had received a 2 million-euro ($2.46 million) bribe from a mobster to halt an investigation into the brother of then-President Traian Basescu.

Mihai Gadea, who hosted the program where the allegations were made, called the ruling “an attempt at intimidation” and suggested the court “would come and take our apartments” to cover the damages. He said the station would appeal.

Kovesi said the false “allegations of an extreme gravity were made with the sole goal of undermining (her) personal and professional authority.”

The station often criticizes the anti-corruption agency and its work.

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