Paraguayan journalist sued for libel over articles alleging corruption

ABC newspaper reports that its journalist, Jorge Torres, is being sued for defamation, libel, and slander for stories alleging misuse of funds by a federal agency in Paraguay.

The lawsuit was initiated in October 2010 by two former officials at the National Emergency department (SEN), but after settlement attempts were rejected, the suit will be now go to trial.

The former head of the SEN, Camilo Soares, wants the journalist to face the maximum sentence for aggravated libel: two years in prison or a fine. The reporter's lawyer said that “Torres was doing journalism,” while the government “does the most it can to suffocate the press.”

Soares was tried in court in April 2010 for alleged misuse of public funds that caused $900,000 in government losses.

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.