Romanian media mogul jailed for money laundering freed early

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court on Tuesday granted parole to a media mogul who was serving a 10-year sentence for money laundering and fraudulently privatizing a state-owned agricultural institute.

The Bucharest Court ruled that Dan Voiculescu, ex-owner of Antena TV, could be released after serving over a third of his 2014 sentence. The ruling is final.

Voiculescu, 70, was hospitalized last week in the Romanian capital. The court released him early due to good behavior and also because prisoners older than 60 are eligible for parole after serving a third of their sentence.

He was discharged from hospital later Tuesday and told reporters "three years of my life were stolen from me."

He vowed to prove his innocence in court and denied wrongdoing. He suggested his sentence was politically motivated.

Voiculescu's daughters took over the television station after he was imprisoned. A court ordered the TV studios confiscated to cover damages.

Lawyer Florin Surghie said Voiculescu was unable to pay damages because the tax authorities that seized the studios had not sold them.

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