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Supreme Court to review appeal launched by former first lady in case against magazine and Argentine writer

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 22 April 2009, magistrates from Mexico's Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) decided to review an appeal launched by former first lady Marta Sahagún in a case against "Proceso" magazine. In April 2005, Sahagún filed a lawsuit for "moral damages" against "Proceso" and the Argentine writer Olga Wornat, author of the book "La Jefa", after they publicised details of the annulment of her marriage to Manuel Bribiesca. In January 2007, a Federal District Superior Court absolved "Proceso" of the charges against it and reduced the amount that Wornat had previously been ordered to pay in damages from 1,958,000 pesos (approx. US$140,000) to 500,000 pesos (approx. US$36,000).

In the 22 April 2009 decision, the Supreme Court magistrates considered the case to be particularly important and said that it presented an opportunity to resolve an issue which involved an analysis of the requirement to guarantee freedom of expression and information on one hand and, on the other hand, the rights of individuals to honour and privacy. The decision came after the publisher of "Proceso", Comunicación e Información S.A., asked the Supreme Court to review the former first lady's appeal of the previous ruling in the case. The publisher considers the "moral damages" complaint brought by the wife of former president Vicente Fox to be a threat to freedom of expression.

In an interview, Wornat said that if the Supreme Court rules against her, she will take the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Updates alerts on the Wornat and "Proceso" case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/78462

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