East Timor court drops premier's libel case against media

AP News
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 7:38 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An East Timor court has dismissed a criminal defamation case brought by the country's prime minister against two journalists due to lack of evidence.

Journalist Raimundo Oki said there was "big applause" when a Dili District Court judge issued his ruling Thursday.

Oki and his former boss at the Timor Post, Lourenco Vicente Martins, would have faced up to three years in prison if found guilty of slanderous denunciation.

The defamation accusation stemmed from an error in a story published in the Timor Post about Prime Minister Rui Aria de Araujo's involvement in a state contract for information technology services when he was an adviser to East Timor's finance minister in 2014.

The mistake, which was corrected, did not change the overall story.