Ecuadoran court suspends multimillion fine and prison sentence against newspaper columnist

An Ecuadoran court suspended journalist Emilio Palacio's three-year prison sentence and $40 million fine for defaming the Andean country's president, Rafael Correa, reported BBC Mundo.

Palacio, who fled to Miami, was the opinion page editor of the newspaper El Universo and wrote an article in which he accused the president of ordering troops to fire at will at a hospital where protesting police were holed up during the Sept. 30, 2010, demonstrations.

The Second Criminal Court of Guayas allowed an appeal by Palacio's defense for the case to be reviewed by the National Court of Justice, according to the agency Infobae.

On Sept. 20, the Guayas court upheld Palacio's sentence and those of three of El Universo's editors. The editors' sentences and multimillion dollar fine still stand.