Pakistan Press Foundation concerned over fine imposed on Panama America newspaper
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), an independent non-governmental institution committed to promoting and defending freedom of expression has in a letter to Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama expressed concern on imposing fine for damages on Panama America newspaper.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter to President Varela said the ruling was against freedom of press and urged him to withdraw the fine for damages on Panama America newspaper and its two journalists.
The Supreme Court of Panama ordered the newspaper to pay $25,000 fine to Winston Spadafora, former Supreme Court Justice who sued the newspaper and two of its journalists – Jean Marcel Chery and Gustavo Aparicio on publication of a news story in year 2001. The news criticized construction with public funds of a highway that said to be to his personal benefit by providing access to one of his properties.
Chairman of Inter American Press Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo described the ruling as “a terrible precedent for press freedom in setting conditions for investigative journalism work.”