REGIONS:

Court declares inadmissible lawsuit against five journalists for "damage to reputation"

(RSF/IFEX) - Several Honduran judges have unanimously rejected complaints made against five journalists for "damaging his reputation", by the director of the Honduran telecommunications company, Hondutel, Marcelo Chimirri.

The judges ruled that there were insufficient legal reasons for a case to be brought against Renato Álvarez and Rossana Guevara, of Televicentro, Melissa Amaya and Juan Carlos Funes, of Radio Cadena Voces, and Carlos Mauricio Flores, editor of the daily "El Heraldo".

The journalists had published articles relating to alleged fraud involving international phone calls revealed by the Mexican daily "El Universal". Judges in San Pedro Sula, North-West of Honduras, were due to rule shortly on a suit against Nelson Fernández, managing editor of the regional daily "La Prensa".

The National Human Rights Commission told RSF that this legal decision constituted a "victory for freedom of expression in the face of a wave of intimidation aimed at abolishing the right to the truth and to information."

"We knew that we had committed no crime, we have published news on a piece of information having repercussions abroad and which should be the subject of a thorough investigation," Melissa Amaya told the worldwide press freedom organisation.

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