Nicaragua daily La Prensa faces another lawsuit

August 15, 2008

The children of the president of the Nicaraguan Water and Sewage Company (ENACAL) are accusing Nicaragua’s opposition daily newspaper of defamation for a report that alleged ENACAL President Ruth Selma allowed her two children to use two of four company vehicles under Selma’s name.

 

According to the daily La Prensa, the trial will begin Sept. 10 after district judge Felipe Jaime decided Monday that the case should go to trial. Reporters were told to leave the courtroom during the Monday hearing because one of Selma’s children is a minor, La Prensa reported.

 

The report was part of a series of stories meant to expose nepotism in ENACAL, in which La Prensa also reported that Selma’s niece was hired by ENACAL thanks to Selma’s appointment. Selma has denied all accusations.

 

La Prensa alleged that the complaint was improperly filed against the newspaper’s director, Jaime Chamorro, and editor Eduardo Enriquez, instead of against the journalist who wrote the story.

 

The trial comes after a case in which five members of the Sandinista-affiliated Citizen Power Councils (CPCs) took La Prensa to court on defamation charges. A Sandinista judge ruled that La Prensa was guilty in that case.

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