Radio show host hit with fine for slandering mayor
Show host Federico Jiménez Losantos found guilty of slandering Madrid mayor was slapped a fine of EUR 36,000.17 June 2008
MADRID - Firebrand radio talk show host Federico Jiménez Losantos has been ordered to compensate Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón to the tune of EUR 36,000 after a court in the capital found him guilty on Monday of publicly insulting the Popular Party politician.
Losantos, who is the leading presenter on the conservative Cope radio station owned by Catholic bishops, had been accused by the mayor of making insulting and defamatory comments on air, focusing largely on the mayor's refusal to question - unlike many other PP leaders - the police inquiry into the Madrid train bombings on March 11, 2004.
In alleging that Gallardón was a "traitor" and a "liar" and accusing him of not caring about the victims of the attacks, Losantos exceeded his right to freedom of speech, Judge Inmaculada Iglesias ruled.
"There is no doubt that in any context your expressions were insulting and unnecessary and resulted in unjustified damage to the dignity of the plaintiff," Iglesias said.
Gallardón has said he will donate the damages to a terrorism victims' association. Losantos, however, is unrepentant. On his show Monday, he said he would not "change as much as a comma" regarding what he said. He plans to appeal the sentence.
[El Pais / Expatica]