Defamation suit brought by former president Chinchilla heads to trial on Monday

laura chinchilla

Former President Laura Chinchilla (archive photo)

July 10th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) The defamation trial of businessman Alberto Rodriguez Baldi, brought as the result of a complaint filed against him by former president Laura Chinchilla over statements he made on Facebook, will begin on Monday, according to an official statement.

 

The former president filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer and hotelier Alberto Rodriguez Baldi in June of last year.

 

The lawsuit was filed just ten days after Rodriguez published a post on Facebook that stated that Chinchilla purchased land worth millions of dollars in Nicoya, Guanacaste.

 

Rodriguez, who is in the hotel business in La Fortuna de San Carlos, also stated that Chinchilla has business interests in wind energy.

 

On Facebook, Rodriguez responded at the time by saying that “Doña Laura is free to sue whoever she wishes,” and that the case “seems a golden opportunity to question the President.”

 

Communications Minister Carlos Roverssi said at the time that Chinchilla filed the lawsuit as a private citizen and would cover her own legal expenses.  Roverssi said that Chinchilla “wants to make it very clear that the only compensation [Chinchilla and her husband] receives is her salary and her husband’s pension.”

 

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  • mhogan

    Hope ICR follows this and reports. Chances are slightly improved for Rodriguez now that the Lady is no longer in power but good to remember that defamation cases in the Napoleonic Code have nothing to do with whether facts are true or not — there is no right of speech here. In fact, truth be told, there is probably no right of thought either.

  • Ben

    We might see some truth come out and the EX prez could have some big problems soon. Tim what court house is this case being held in?

    • http://insidecostarica.com/ Timothy Williams

      Goicoechea I believe, unless the venue was changed between March and now.

      • duke ster

        Timothy–you have a lot of knowledge in the court system of CR. I believe you are a lawyer who has lived in CR for a long time. ( my guess)

    • mhogan

      You don’t get it, Ben. This case IS NOT an indictment of Chinchilla. Chances are Mr. Rodriguez will not be allowed to put forth any evidence of any alleged misdeeds because that is NOT the crux of the case — it’s defamation. It’s all irrelevant. All she has to prove is damage (and can amount to as little as “my feelings were hurt”-God forbid, to damage to her reputation which may have cost her financially). It will probably never be allowed to turn into an exposition of any alleged misdeeds because that’s not the legal case presented. He is the defendant and the only thing he can get away with is saying he didn’t write those things. At this late stage, he can’t even apologize — it’s too late to count. He won’t be the first lawyer to learn that defamation is not about the truth coming out but to prove he said/wrote “bad” things about someone and the award of damages to the plaintiff.
      As to being present in the courtroom, you may find it is a closed court.

      • http://insidecostarica.com/ Timothy Williams

        Actually, we can confirm that it is indeed closed court, as are most defamation cases.

      • Ben

        HIdden courts got love Costa Rica

      • duke ster

        Hogan-you really seem clear headed and very intelligent on this matter. So although the lawyer believes he will get the chance to dig at the former Pres and her dealings– he actually is screwed because as you pointed out, this is about defamation. So he will lose and through her contacts and connections, the judge will certainly be on her side and ream the lawyer and it will cost him a bundle. Costa Rica–gotta love it– or in reality–in my case at least–( GOTTA get the heck out)