The AC rejected Rizea’s application to obtain a license for Realitatea TV from Moldova

The Audiovisual Council (AC) rejected the application of issuing the broadcasting license to the company Realitatea-PHG, 50% owned by the Romanian politician Cristian Rizea, for the Realitatea TV channel from Moldova. The application was not accepted also because of the insufficient volume of European works presented in the project.

According to the editorial project and structure, the program services of Realitatea TV from Moldova were expected to be broadcast through the networks of service providers from the country and on the web page with the same name in general format. Cristian Rizea mentioned during the meeting that he intends to broadcast including European products on the television, taken from the Romanian Realitatea channel. “We want a European television, and our main goal is, taking into account the fact that the Republic of Moldova is a candidate country to join the European Union, to inform the public correctly. No fake news”, said Cristian Rizea. He added that television would also benefit from the presence of a special correspondent in Brussels.

“For the time being, I notice from the structure of the audiovisual media service that the article of the Audiovisual Media Services Code, which stipulates that European works must be at least 50%, is not respected. So, the structure does not comply with the provisions of the Code, which is why I will personally vote for the rejection”, stated the president of the AC, Liliana Vițu.

Rizea replied that the initial figures corresponded to the requirements and that he would have changed them after the head of the Licensing and Authorization Directorate, Nicolae Dastic, had forced him to do so. “First of all, I did not force you, I recommended you, based on the calculations from the broadcast grid, which I carried out with you (…) The discussion was about connecting the grid to the structure of media services”, he replied Dastic during the meeting.

Rizea also accused the AC of not notifying him in time about the agenda of the meeting and that he would have learned from the press. “We are not a place where fakes are discussed. The agenda is published on the website, it is not a leak of information”, Liliana Vițu replied. It should be noted that the Media Azi reporter who spoke to Rizea learned the information about the agenda from the authority’s website, four days before.

In the end, five members out of seven present at the meeting voted to reject the application, and two – to suspend the decision.

AC member Tatiana Crestenco explained her decision by the fact that the proposed TV format is a general one and that there are enough channels of this format in the Republic of Moldova. Cristian Rizea interrupted her and continued to accuse the AC members as if they had decided in advance not to issue him the broadcasting license: “What you are doing is a mockery. Stop saying you want unite with Romania. Stop reaching out to Romania for money, stop taking Romanian passports, because look what you’re doing. When Romania wants to inform the Moldovan, you are mocking. (…) You have received an order. I knew from last night”.

“No one has had any meetings. The AC members did not meet yesterday. No member. I think all seven of them can say that we didn’t meet yesterday. Mr. Dastic advised that he talked about the ratio between the grid and the percentage. So no one forced anyone from AC to modify”, Liliana Vițu also specified.

According to public data, Realitatea-PHG was established on October 7th, 2020. Cristian Rizea and Iulian Ditcov, each own 50% of the company, and the company’s administrator is Veaceslav Belescu. previously wrote about Rizea’s plans to launch a television in Chisinau. The portal noted that Rizea’s business partner, businessman Iulian Ditcov, was sentenced in November 2014 to three years and six months of prison in the “Romanian Post” case, later being released on parole. The source mentions that Cristian Rizea was a parliamentarian in the Social Democratic Party of Romania in the period 2008-2016. Later, he settled in the Republic of Moldova, shortly before he was finally sentenced in Romania for corruption crimes. In one of his video intervention, Rizea also rejected the information regarding his conviction in Romania: “I did not embezzle any public money, any leu from the public budget.”

Cristian Rizea also obtained the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, later withdrawn because, as informed by the Presidency headed by Igor Dodon at the time, it would have been obtained illegally. The politician did not agree to the withdrawal of citizenship and contested the act in court, and a final decision has not yet been issued.

Recently, Cristian Rizea was forced by the court to repurlse the false and defamatory information, which harms the honor, dignity and professional reputation of TV8 journalist Mariana Rață.

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