2 Romanian journalists sentenced for blackmail

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - A Romanian court has given two journalists suspended prison sentences after they were convicted of trying to blackmail politicians and businessmen over a three-year period.

The Appeal Court in Cluj on Thursday handed newspaper director Florin Asimionesei a three-year suspended prison sentence and his editor-in-chief Alin Tocan a two-year suspended prison sentence for demanding money from businessmen and politicians from 2001 to 2004.

The pair were also ordered to pay (EURO)22,000 ($26,000) in damages to Transportation Minister Relu Fenechiu and others in the case. Fenechiu said after he refused to advertise in their paper the journalists published defamatory articles about his family and business interests.

The paper, now named `'Good Day Iasi," published a Friday editorial that called the ruling politically motivated.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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