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Filipino journalist Maria Ressa appeals conviction for cyber libel

DPA
Manila
Filipino journalist Maria Ressa on Monday appealed her conviction for cyber libel, citing “substantial errors” made by the judge in her verdict, which was seen as a blow to press freedom in the Philippines.
Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr, former researcher and writer, were sentenced to imprisonment of up to six years, with a minimum term of six months and one day on June 15.
In a 133-page motion for reconsideration, Ressa and Santos, who are both out on bail, urged Judge Rainelda Estacio Montesa to set aside her original verdict and acquit them.
It also accused Montesa of malice when she described Ressa’s use of the title executive editor of Rappler, instead of editor-in-chief, as a “clever ruse” to avoid liability.
“Ascribing an underhanded and even unlawful motive - without assertion or proof - is malicious. It is utterly contemptuous and unbecoming of a judge.”
As editor-in-chief, Ressa would have direct control over what is published and is therefore liable for libellous stories.

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