The prison term of the athlete Ion Soltoianu, sentenced in 2014 for manslaughter, could be prolonged for another ten years. The Court of Appeal will decide in November 2016 on another case, in which Ion Soltoianu and his accomplice, Iurie Sochirca, are accused of blackmail.

The trial court sentenced the two of them to ten years of imprisonment each.

Ion Soltoianu refused to attend the hearing and asked for a closed process, referring to security concerns.

Soltoianu and the former police officer Iurie Sochirca were charged in 2008 with threatening to kill a businessman, forcing him to give in to some Ukrainians a part of the shares he held in a company. It was about five percent of the shares, which were worth nearly one million lei, so the Ukrainians could hold a majority stake.

Subsequently, the company, which engaged in gambling, was taken over by the Ukrainians.

The prosecutors initially merged the case of blackmail with the murder case. But the Supreme Court split the two cases, maintaining the sentence of 14 years for Soltoianu. The blackmail case was sent for retrial to the Buiucani Court of Chisinau.

Ion Soltoianu, double world champion in kickboxing, was sentenced in September 2011 for shooting his disciple, the former policeman Ion Stratulat. The latter, who was married to the daughter of General Nicolae Alexei, was suspected of having committed contract killings, including the murder of the businessman Igor Basarab.

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