Case against Casaca Express, court of Ponta Delgada has not recognized the right of MEP
The court of Ponta Delgada acquitted the former director of the weekly Expresso, José António Saraiva, and journalist Daniel Carlos do Rosario, accused of defamation by Casaca
The case concerned a story published in 2005 that exposed the MEP’s links to members of the Iranian resistance, an organization which at the time, was among the organizations considered as terrorist by the European Union.
Casaca accused the journalists of defamation and that he has suffered retaliation because of political news. The court held that it was the Socialist Party which gave the news to divert Casaca.
It was the end of Casaca’s international political career in Parliament. Casaca himself admitted [his links] to the Socialist Party [and they] rejected his remaining as a candidate [for MEP] after news of the Express.
But according to the judge the responsibility for this decision cannot be attributed to journalists but to the PS, “perhaps, the political discomfort of having in their ranks, an MEP from the Azores who wanted Bojador move beyond” is the sentence in which it reads.
The decision of the court of Ponta Delgada recognizes that Casaca felt enxovalhado, killed and humiliated by the news.
The Express newspaper said in its title: “Mr Portuguese friend of terrorists”, “Casaca hired as his assistant a member of the political wing of the Mojahedin.
According to the Judge the title is purely metaphorical, appealing, with some sensational nature, but it is not defamatory or libelous.
It is appropriate to the content of the news, referring to the political sphere of the MEP and not his personal honesty.
In addition to Judge Ana Luísa Moreira, journalists have had a constitutionally recognized right: freedom of expression, criticism and opinion.
They are also freed from paying the compensation claimed by Casaca. The policy is to free them not to pay the legal costs of proceedings.
Casaca should make that decision.
RTP TV, Portugal,Berta Tavares / António Gil
Translated by IranInterlink