Four jailed for libelling Ecuadorian President

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The Independent US

A judge in Ecuador jailed three directors of an opposition newspaper and a former columnist yesterday, fining them and the paper $40m (£25m) for libelling President Rafael Correa in an article about a police mutiny last year.

State media said the judge sentenced three brothers who ran El Universo and their former columnist to three years in prison. The paper said its lawyers planned to appeal.

Mr Correa sued El Universo after it published an article in February about circumstances surrounding last September's mutiny, when rebellious police officers briefly took the President hostage at a hospital. "This sets a precedent that will help them to think 1,000 times before using proxies to damage people's reputations," Mr Correa after the judgment told reporters.