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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Journalist could go to jail for not compensating ex-mayor in Ecuador




On Wednesday, July 27, an Ecuadoran court found journalist Freddy Vidal Aponte guilty of fraudulent insolvency after not paying compensation for moral damages to the ex-mayor of Loja, a city south of the capital Quito. The crime is punishable with one to five years in prison. The court will issue its sentence in the next eight days, according to the local press.

This is Aponte's third trial after accusing José Bolívar Castillo, the mayor of Loja, of appropriating several properties on his radio show in 2007. The ex-mayor sued for moral damages and Aponte was sentenced to 90 days in prison and $55,000 in compensation. In 2009, Bolívar Castillo's lawyer presented the claim for fraudulent insolvency against the journalist. In September 2010, Aponte's bank account was seized.

Aponte's lawyer, Adolfo Moreno Bravo, told Fundamedios the plaintiffs did not present relevant evidence against his defendant and that they would appeal the ruling once they were notified of the sentence.

Click below to see a video (in Spanish) of the Second Court of Loja's verdict against Aponte.



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