Peru condemns journalist for book about powerful politician

LIMA (AP) – A Peruvian judge on Monday convicted a journalist and his editor of aggravated defamation for publishing a book about a local millionaire politician who filed a lawsuit against them a year ago.

The magistrate Raúl Jesús also ordered – the reporter Christopher Acosta, the editor Jerónimo Pimentel and the publishing house Penguin Random House, where the book “Silver as court: Secrets, impunity and fortune of César Acuña” was published – to pay 100,000 dollars in favor of the politician , a two-time former presidential candidate and head of the influential political party Alliance for Progress.

Acosta published the book in 2021 and in it he recounts unknown events in the life of the businessman, owner of a university, a soccer team and head of a political party represented in 22 seats in the current unicameral congress, in addition to hundreds of municipalities. throughout the territory.

The judge affirmed that 35 sentences of the book are defamatory against Acuña. The journalist and the editor appealed the magistrate’s decision, who also sentenced them to two years in suspended jail (or not effective).

Reporters Without Borders added that the judge “does not consider it valid for the journalist to cite testimonies from third parties who in the past had conflicts or ties of some kind with the politician.”

Acuña, 69, who did not attend the hearing, has not yet spoken. The journalist Acosta indicated that “Acuña, as a public figure, owes an explanation to the country to make him understand why he feels defamed and what part of the book seems to him that damages his honor.”

The sentence will be analyzed, on a date to be determined, by a court in the second instance.

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