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Businessman drops lawsuit against "O Estado de São Paulo" newspaper

(RSF/IFEX) - On 17 December 2009, Fernando Sarney dropped the case he had launched against the daily "O Estado de São Paulo". Sarney is a businessman implicated in a corruption scandal, and the son of the speaker of the Senate, José Sarney.

His lawsuit had resulted in a 31 July order banning the paper from referring to the legal procedures against Fernando Sarney, which was upheld on appeal on several occasions. The businessman cited press freedom when he announced he had decided to withdraw his suit.

"We hope that the dropping of Fernando Sarney's action will put an end to the censorship that 'O Estado de São Paulo' was unfairly subjected to," Reporters Without Borders said. "The step was all the more unjustified because the businessman launched an action against the newspaper for reasons that were not directly linked to the corruption scandal for which he was facing proceedings."

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