Panama: Ecuadoran newspaper publisher offered asylum

Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli offered asylum to Ecuadoran publisher Carlos Pérez Barriga, one of the owners of the El Universo newspaper. Last week Pérez was sentenced to three years in prison and 26m GBP in fines for defaming Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa. Emilio Palacio, the journalist who penned the editorial that provoked Correa’s libel complaint, has sought asylum in the US. Pérez’s brothers — who are co-owners — are also currently in the United States and reportedly fear returning to Ecuador.