June 3, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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Peru: Journalist sentenced to two years in prison | For publishing a book about former presidential candidate Caesar Aguna

From Lima

A defamatory court ruling threatens press freedom in Peru. A judge has sentenced journalist Christopher Agosta to two years in prison and ordered him to pay $ 400,000 (approximately $ 100,000) in compensation for publishing a book he brought to light. The dark stories of former presidential candidate Caesar Aguna, The billionaire businessman who heads the right-wing party with parliamentary representation. That sentence includes the director of the publication that published the book. Geronimo Pimentel. Judge’s sentence Jesus Vega, Described as an attempt to intimidate not only Agosta, but the press as a whole, which has generated a general, massive rejection, from left to right, and widespread condemnation in the country and internationally. The sentence has been appealed.

Christopher Agosta published the book “Friday as a Court” (The term “field” refers to the surplus), a documented account of the path of a powerful businessman who twice tried to run for president of Peru in early 2021, shortly before that year’s presidential election, in which Aguna did poorly. César Acuña became a millionaire in the business of private university education and entered politics. Founder of the party Alliance for Progress (APP), has been a candidate for mayor, governor, congressman and president.

Agosta’s book is reminiscent of Aguna’s graduation dissertation and the complaints against him for stealing the book; When he was mayor, he used municipal funds for welfare assistance during the election campaign; Allegations that Fujimori negotiated his support for the dictatorship when he was a Member of Parliament; Revealed that his ex-wife had assaulted him; A lawsuit for raping a teenage girl was later withdrawn. In all these cases the author cites the identified sources and encapsulates them with other information on these topics. The statements quoted in the book were published in different media some time ago and the journalist compiled them.

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He filed a defamation suit against Acosta alleging that he was responsible for what third parties said and the journalist’s quotes. A false court ruling proved he was right. Aguna’s lawyer, Enrique Kersey, Which supports this cause against press freedom, is a member of the group of radical conservative international founders for freedom led by author Mario Vargas Losa. Aguna is also part of this foundation.

The sentence integrates the form of authorized persons who use the justice system to prevent the press from investigating Bring question marks to your past. The motive behind the case is to send a message of punishment to those who dare to undress these people, creating fear for other journalists and creating the effect of self-censorship, so they should not be released without investigation, ”the lawyer said. Told Bakkina / 12 Roberto Pereira, Defender of the Journalist Agosta.

“Criteria for criminalizing Christopher – referring to Pereira Incompatible with all national and international standards of freedom of expression and the judiciary. The principle of “faithful reporting” prevents a journalist from shifting responsibility for what a credible source says. In this sense, the Inter-American Human Rights Court has already ruled.