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Ecuador: Pro-Correa libel verdict upheld

By Marta Cooper / 16 February 2012

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Ecuador‘s highest court has upheld a criminal libel verdict favouring President Rafael Correa, sentencing three newspaper executives and a columnist each to three years in prison ordering them to pay a total of around 26 million GBP in damages. The case was brought by Correa against opposition paper El Universo, which published a column that referred to the president as “the Dictator”, claiming he “ordered discretionary fire — without prior notification — against a hospital full of civilians and innocent people” during a September 2010 police revolt over government plans to cut police benefits that claimed at least five lives. The verdict is not subject to appeal.

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