Brazil's highest court rules newspaper did not compromise defendant's presumed innocence

In a landmark decision for the press, the Brazilian Supreme Court of Justice ruled that a suspect's "presumed innocence" does not impede the press from reporting critical facts about the case, as long as they do not stray beyond information presented by the authorities, reported the newspaper Jornal do Brasil.

The court unanimously reversed a $2.6 million fine against the newspaper Jornal do Brasil in the eastern state of Sergipe, ruling that the newspaper's publication of a photo and article mentioning the involvement of a businessman in an influence trafficking and embezzlement scheme did not harm the suspect's "presumed innocence," according to the website Midiacon.

The newspaper argued that the there was nothing illicit about the article and that the publication of the facts was in the public interest, according to the legal consultant.