Brazilian federal police accuse newspaper editor of publishing secret information

First came an accusation against a journalist who refused to reveal his sources after publishing in the Brazilian newspaper Diário da Região information from phone calls secretly recorded as part of a judicial investigation in São José do Rio Preto. Now Brazilian federal police say they plan to go after the newspaper's editor, too, reported Folha de S. Paulo.

Prosecutor Álvaro Stipp filed a case against editor Fabrício Carareto for authorizing the publication of information from the taped calls.

The minister of the Federal Supreme Court, Marco Aurélio, criticized the attitude of the police, according to the site Consultor Jurídico. According to the judge, the journalist should not be penalized for being given access to the phone call information. The person responsible, he said, is the person who first divulged that information.

In a statement, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) expressed concern over the accusation. "It is an affront to the Constitution of 1988 in a flagrant disrespect to the professional exercise of journalism and an attack against freedom of expression in the country," the group said.

The Brazilian Press Association asked the Minister of Justice to intervene in the case against the journalist and called on the federal police to respect the constitution, added Diário da Região.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.