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Newspaper to close after being ordered to pay US$306,000 in defamation lawsuit

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 25 June 2009, the "Debate" newspaper, based in the town of Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, in São Paulo state, was ordered to pay R$593,000 (approx. US$306,000) as a result of a lawsuit for defamation filed against it in 1995 by Judge Antônio José Magdalena.

According to the newspaper's owner, Sérgio Fleury Moraes, the ruling means that the paper, which has been in business for 32 years, will have to close. The value of the judgement against the newspaper is equivalent to two and a half years of the company's sales, as it collects US$10,000 per month.

In 1995, the newspaper reported that Judge Magdalena lived in a house rented by the municipality, where he also had a telephone line that was paid for by the local administration.

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