Spain media mogul seeks libel charges against El Pais editor

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 02, 2015 6:59 AM

MADRID (AP) — Two of Spain's top media companies are facing off after a broadcasting magnate who has bankrolled Woody Allen movies asked a court to file criminal charges against the editor-in-chief of the country's leading newspaper.

Jaume Roures, who heads Barcelona-based Mediapro, says El Pais newspaper hurt his reputation with an article last year stating he had 250 million euros ($278 million) in 150 accounts around the world, much of it in tax havens.

He tried to force El Pais to publish a correction, but a judge dismissed that plea in August, saying Roures wasn't hurt and failed to prove the article was false.

Now Roures has mounted a criminal libel and slander case against El Pais editor-in-chief Antonio Cano and reporter Rosario Garcia Gomez in a case made public last week after a magistrate said there was enough evidence for an investigation. If convicted, they could face up to two years in prison.

Roures told The Associated Press that the article was part of a bitter legal dispute between his company and El Pais' parent company, Prisa, over football television broadcasting rights. El Pais, Cano and Garcia Gomez declined comment through a company spokesman. A court statement said Cano has asked for the case to be dismissed and for him to be excluded since he did not write the article.

Roures, 65, started his career helping to set up TV3, the state-owned television network serving the northeastern Catalonia region. He co-founded Mediapro in 1994, which launched the La Sexta national television channel and Publico newspaper. He is now chief executive of Mediapro's parent company, Imagina Media Audiovisual S.L., which reported revenue of 1.5 billion euros in 2014.