Brazilian journalist facing jail for offending candidate seeks habeas corpus

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  • August 27, 2010

By Maira Magro

A journalist sentenced to prison, accused of slanderous propaganda and offending the honor of Osmar Calenge, a 2004 candidate for the City Council of Lagoa Santa, in Minas Gerais, entered a request for habeas corpus before the Federal Supreme Court, asking for the sentence to be dismissed, according to the court.

Calenge was editor of the newspaper “O Grito” and, according to the court, published stories considered derogatory by the then candidate.

The journalist was sentenced to four years and four months in jail for offenses under the electoral code, according to the court. The journalist's defense claimed that, with the repeal of the Press Law, in most defamation cases journalists cannot be sentenced to prison. Still, according to the court, a warrant was issued for the journalist's arrest.

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.