District attorney in Brazil won't force press to reveal source of leaks about eavesdropping at prison

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  • August 24, 2010

By Maira Magro

The federal district attorney has opened a public civil inquiry to investigate how the press of Mato Grosso do Sul had access to documents that proved the use of a video recording system, as part of criminal investigations, in the Federal Maximum Security Prison in Campo Grande, reported Campo Grande News.

According to the news site, the media were given notice to supply information about how they obtained the classified documents.

But in a statement this week, the district attorney's office emphasized that it defends press freedom and does not intend to compel the media to reveal confidential sources.

In June of 2009, the local press reported that the district attorney was taping the maximum security prison. Prosecutors argued they had judicial authorization to make the recordings, reported Folha do Mato Grosso do Sul, but the method was criticized for violating privileged conversations between lawyers and clients.

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.