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President's lawyer takes preliminary steps to launch legal action against journalist

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 13 July 2011, President Rafael Correa's lawyer, Alembert Vera, submitted a request to the prosecutor's office calling for proceedings to be initiated against Diego Oquendo, author of the editorial "Fregando la Pita", published on 27 June by the daily "Hoy".

Marlon Puertas, "Hoy"'s editor-in-chief, told Fundamedios that the newspaper received a notification from the prosecutor's office on 26 July, signed by the prosecutor of Pichincha, Jorge Nogales. In the notification, the Administrative Actions Unit asked the media outlet to provide the name of the article's author within three days. This action was based on a request submitted by Vera, who has represented the president in the trial for slander launched against the "El Universo" newspaper, its directors and its former features writer.

Vera told Fundamedios that he submitted the request as a prerequisite to legal action for slander if the text of the editorial, upon further examination, should merit it.

The article published by Oquendo titled "Fregando la Pita" (slang for bothering someone), speculates on the amount in lawyers' fees that could be generated by the lawsuit for US$80 million filed by Correa against "El Universo".

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