TV station fined for false report on Spanish ex-PM

17th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Telecinco has been asked to pay EUR 240,000 damages to Jose Maria Aznar and his wife for falsely announcing their marriage is over.

MADRID – A Spanish court on Tuesday ordered television station Telecinco to pay EUR 240,000 in damages to former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar and his wife for falsely announcing the couple's separation.

The station, controlled by Italian broadcaster Mediaset which is owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said it would appeal the verdict, calling the amount awarded in damages "exorbitant", the Europa Press mews agency reported.

At the time Aznar and his wife Ana Botella, a Madrid city councillor, called the media reports of their split "false" and "vile" and said they amounted to slander.

In its ruling the court said the couple had suffered "illegitimate interferences regarding their fundamental rights to honour and personal and family privacy".

Aznar, 55, served as prime minister for two terms between 1996 and 2004 as the leader of the conservative Popular Party which is now in opposition.

Mediaset holds a 50-percent stake in Spain's private television channel Telecinco.

[AFP / Expatica]

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