The European Court has overturned a verdict condemning myself and Gil Canha of difamation. The case was brought against us by the Vice President of Madeira, Cunha e Silva, for a report written in the satirical newspaper, Garajau.
The article was about the contracting of the lawyer, Garcia Pereira, a leader of the Portuguese Maoist Party, MRPP, resorting to government funding to sue the Garajau over articles on the dealings of Cunha e Silva.
The accused were absolved in the lower Court, where the judge made some very pertinente observations on the way public funding was being against the press. The appeals Court, though not calling into question the substance of the facts, overturned the ruling, condeming us to pay compensation to the Vice President.
The European Court has now overruled that verdict, saying the judgement violated article 10 of the convention and ntoing that such procedures were detrimental to press freedom.