Ecuador: El Universo newspaper’s executives were convicted for libel on President Correa
Ecuador, September 21, 2011
On Tuesday an appeals court confirmed “the sentence of three years in prison and 40 million dollars in damages against three executives of the newspaper El Universo and one of its editors, after President Correa began a lawsuit for slander.”
The article that provoked the complaint accused President Rafael Correa of crimes against humanity and ordered to shoot unarmed civilians.
Other similar cases:
Fierro Benítez Case: “In 2003, El Comercio newspaper columnist Rodrigo Fierro Benítez was sued for libel by former President Leon Febres Cordero, who demanded to Fierro two years in prison and a compensation of 1 million dollars.
After passing the case on several instances, the final sentence was one month in prison, but the execution of it was suspended considering that Fierro had no criminal record and had more than 70 years of age.
Aponte case: “In 2008, journalist Freddy Aponte was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in the libel trial that followed Bolivar Castillo, Former Mayor of Loja.
A year later, a court ruling ordered to Aponte the payment of 54,633 dollars compensation for moral damage. The broadcaster was declared insolvent and did not pay such compensation. On 9 August this year, the Second Court of Criminal Guarantees sentenced him to five years in prison for the crime of fraudulent bankruptcy.
Case ‘Big Brother’: “President Rafael Correa has asked an award of $ 10 million in the demand for moral damages since February this year against journalists Christian Zurita and Juan Carlos Calderón, who wrote the book” The Big Brother “, in which was investigated millionaires contracts related to Fabricio Correa companies, the president’s brother, with the state.”