Correa: Sentence Penalizes Freedom of Extortion, not of Expression

Quito, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that the prison sentences to the ex chief of the daily “Opinion” and the executives of “El Universo” daily are a historical landmark, which penalize the freedom of extortion, but not the freedom of expression.

This sets a precedent with regard to a common practice, to insult and defame in the name of the freedom of expression, said Correa, after stressing that this is part of one of the hardest battles against one of the biggest powers of Ecuador and the whole of Latin America.

Referring to the power of the private newspapers, Correa added that they thought until a few days ago that they were absolute, they neither had nor have scruples, but from now on they will have to think twice before publishing their excesses.

The judge of the 15th Court of Guayas province, Juan Paredes, sentenced Emilio Palacio ( former editor of Opinion), and Carlos, Cesar and Nicolas Perez (executives) to three years in prisons, and ordered the company to pay a penalty of millions of dollars.

Correa has said that he will not personally benefit from the penalty, but will donate all of it to the project Yasuní ITT.

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