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20 years

Journalists absolved in libel case brought by Perez Zeledon dentist

January 17th, 2014 ( A court in Perez Zeledon absolved of wrongdoing yesterday three journalists who were sued by a dentist for having published a court resolution in which the dentist was ordered to pay ¢3 million to his ex-wife as compensation for having humiliated her during their marriage.


In a unanimous decision, judges freed from blame journalists Ronald Moya of La Nacion, Shirley Sandí of La Teja, and Angie Lopez, who worked for Al Dia at the time.


The dentist had requested ¢225 million (about $450,000 USD) in compensation.


In their decision, judges said the facts of the case did not warrant charges of libel, slander, or defamation against the reporters and that the intention of the journalists was not to damage the honor of the complainant.


The dentist, Oscar Delgado Madrigal, said during the trial that the journalists’ reports damaged his reputation, caused ridicule, and affected his family and business, pushing his dental clinic to the point of bankruptcy.


Judges, however, found that the journalists committed no wrongdoing, as the information published was based on an official press release from the Judiciary, and the reports were in fact accurate.


Delgado disagreed with the decision, saying that the reports were accompanied by an image of a man beating a woman, which damaged his reputation.

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