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Sentence against blogger overturned

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 10 January 2012, the first instance sentence that had condemned José Alejandro Godoy, owner of the political blog Dese el Tercer Piso, to a three-year suspended prison term and the payment of 300 thousand nuevos soles (approx. US$111,400) for the alleged defamation of former congressman and minister Jorge Mufarech, was declared void by a criminal court in Lima.

The Sixth Specialized Criminal Court of Lima, which resolved the case, decided that the convicting sentence had irremediable deficiencies caused by the lack of coherent and congruent arguments. For example, it did not identify clearly what constituted the alleged criminal behaviour against the plaintiff's honor.

The Sixth Court also cautioned that the sentence did not respect a plenary agreement from the Supreme Court, which judges must obligatorily adhere to, that defines what criteria must be used to resolve conflicts between freedom of expression and protecting one's honor.

The sentence was declared void for failure to support the reasoning for the penalty and civil reparation imposed on Godoy.

José Alejandro Godoy, who is also a lawyer, was sentenced by Judge Flor La Rosa La Rosa, of the 33 Criminal Court of Lima, on 29 October 2010, for alleged slander committed against Mufarech by publishing some links to pages that allegedly defamed the politician on his blog.

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