Peruvian reporter comes out swinging after court releases him from jail on slander charge

The Supreme Court of Lima, Peru, released jailed journalist Paul Garay Ramírez after serving six months of an 18-month sentence for defamation, reported the Press and Society Institute.

Garay, who was a reporter for the radio station La Exitosa and director of the television program Polémica de Visión 47 TV, started his sentence in April 2011 in a maximum-security prison in the capital, Lima. The court released him on Oct. 28, and lifted a fine equivalent of 200 days' pay and a $7,400 charge for damages, the journalist's lawyer Victor Valdez told IFEX.

After he was freed, the journalist told the newspaper La República that he planned to issue a complaint against the judges that sent him to jail to the Control Office of the Judiciary, the prosecutor and the National Council of the Judiciary.

"I want to be sure these things don't happen again to others that don't have the opportunity to defend themselves. I believe if I were to stay quiet, I would be complicit in this injustice," Garay told the newspaper.

Upon lifting the charges, the Supreme Court of Justice determined that there was never substantial proof to charge the reporter. Garay was jailed from April 19 to Oct. 28 for supposedly calling district attorney Agustín López Cruz a "horny dwarf." It was not possible, however, to identify the voice on the 52-second audio clip presented as evidence against Garay, or even which radio station broadcast it. The reporter acknowledged accusing the prosecutor of corruption but denied making the insult.