27 February 2012

ECUADOR : President Correa Pardons Newspaper, Columnist From Libel Convictions.


      President Rafael Correa announced he is pardoning 3 fugitive newspaper owners and a columnist convicted of libel...and who faced $40 million in fines.
     The 3 El Universo newspaper's owners...brothers Carlos, Cesar and Nicolas Perez...fled Ecuador after each was given 3 year jail sentences...and millions in fines and damages.
      Newspaper writer Emilio Palacio was also found guilty of libeling Correa...in September 2010...after the army rescued him from a violent police strike.
     In a televised address...Correa said: "I never wanted this trail. I never wanted anyone arrested. They have been talking about a dictatorship and they were right...a dictatorship of the media."
      Foreign media and human rights groups criticized the court for its heavy handed punishment.