A Spanish court has found two senior journalists guilty of “revealing secrets” in what leading media organisations have called a flagrant violation of press freedom. Rodolfo Irago and Daniel Anido, senior editors of the news service of Cadena SER, Spain’s largest private radio station, were each given suspended sentences of one year and nine months imprisonment and a 130.000 euro fine, and banned from working as journalists for the same period. The judge ruled that the publication in 2003 on Cadena SER’s website of the names of 78 improperly registered members of the Popular Party (Partido Popular) in a town near Madrid was a criminal offence.
The ruling acknowledges the accuracy of the information in the radio station’s online report, but declared that the constitutional right to communicate or receive information freely by any means did not fully apply to material published on the Internet. The ruling has been widely criticised by Spanish and international media organisations, and the two journalists have lodged an appeal.