PRESIDENTE RAFAEL CORREA EN EL CIUDADANO TV (Photo credit: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador)A $40 million libel judgment awarded last July to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa against the El Universo daily newspaper and its ex-opinion editor Emilio Pallacio has been upheld by a three-judge panel of the Latin American nation's highest court, CNN reports.
The 48-year-old Correa, who has led Ecuador since 2008, sued when the defendant published an article accusing him of ordering security forces last September to open fire in a hospital filled with civilians. (See "TUOL" post 1/26/12.)
The Committee to Protect Journalists blasted the court decision in a statement issued from its New York headquarters. Pallacio, who not only is responsible for $30 million of the judgment, but also faces a three-year jail term under the court ruling, presently is seeking asylum in Miami, according to CNN.