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Libel Wars | Veja Prevails

Source: Portal IMPRENSA.

A federal appeals court has found that Veja magazine will not be obliged to indemnify federal legislator Valdemar Costa Neto (PR-SP) and the plaintiff’s mother for a story deemed sensationalisist and libelous.

[subhed] Judge agrees that the magazine went too far in its accusations against the congressman.

According to the Web site of the court, the article “Revelations of a currency broker” indicated some type of involvement of the plaintiff in the “payola of the PT” case. The publication also suggested that Neto’s father is involved in illegal offshore currency transfers and the favoring of a specific company in contracts for public loans.

Justice Nancy Andrighi said that the magazine, based on [supposed] statements by a [hypothetical?] currency trader to the federal prosecutor, did not exceed its right to to liberty of informaiton.  “It is clear from my reading of the article that the information reported was based on the statements given,” she said.

“The article did not conclude that the lawmaker and his father had an actual tie to the corruption scheme … it merely informed the reader that investigations exist into information supplied to the federal prosecutor by the currency dealer,” the judge added.

She also said that “a news organization is blameless if it seeks out worthy sources, when it takes part in investigative work, listens to the interested parties and puts an end to any doubt as to the truth of what it publishes.”