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Ecuador: court upholds libel verdict against news executives

By Alice Purkiss / 21 September, 2011

An appeals court in Ecuador has upheld libel convictions and prison sentences for three newspaper directors and a former writer. El Universo newspaper published a column by Emilio Palacio that called President Rafael Correa a dictator. Fines of $42 million were also upheld by the judges against the executives of the newspaper.  President Correa attended Tuesday’s court hearing and said that the ruling meant Ecuador has begun to free itself of a corrupt press. The defendants are free pending appeal. The Committee to Protect Journalists have called the decision a “blow to freedom of expression.”

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