Yesterday at 10h00, President Rafael Correa apologized for not attending to the Criminal Court XV of Guayas where he was supposed to acknowledge his signature in the lawsuit filed against C.A. El Universo (local newspaper), its director, Carlos Pérez Barriga, and the opinion editor, Emilio Palacio, claiming their responsibility. An article written by Palacio, entitled “No a las mentiras” (Say No To Lies) and signed by him on February 6th, is the reason Correa is demanding the newspaper. However, Gutenberg Vera, the President’s lawyer, sent a document to judge XV Oswaldo Sierra at 09:30, where he asked to change the date and time of the signature recognition, since Correa said it was “impossible to go to his office.”
The president affirmed that Palacio “said I should shoot at discretion to a hospital full of civilians without notice. What will the directors of the newspaper say? Well, that was the opinion of this writer” But according to Correa, “The Board is responsible for the newspaper’s editorial policy.”
Correa filed his demand with his “personal identity”, not as President of the Republic, he is requesting a compensation of 30 million dollars to El Universo, and 50 million more to directors Carlos, Cesar, and Nicolas Perez, and Emilio Palacio. He also requests three years of prison for the four demanded men. According to the newspaper’s lawyer, Pedro Valverde, Correa claims this is an “ulterior liability sue, but it is actually for insulting him.”
The Head of State intends to make propaganda for the referendum. “Ulterior liability has been further all the time, it is in the Civil Code, Criminal Code, and the Constitution,” said Valverde. He also clarified that journalists and columnists are responsible for the damage they could cause with a publication.The newspaper had not been yet notified at all but they got a copy of the complaint.
Source: El Comercio Newspaper