Maria Ressa: Philippine journalist found guilty of cyber libel

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Maria Ressa says the charges are politically motivated

In a case seen as a test of the Philippines’ media freedom, journalist Maria Ressa has been found guilty of cyber libel.

She denied the charges, and claimed they were politically motivated.

A former writer for her news site, Rappler, was also convicted. Both have been released on bail pending appeal, but could face six years in prison.

Press freedom advocates say the trial is aimed at silencing critics of President Rodrigo Duterte.

But the president and his supporters have accused her and her site of peddling fake news.

In a country where journalists are under threat, Ms Ressa’s case became symbolic and closely-followed – both domestically and internationally.

A former CNN journalist, Ms Ressa founded Rappler in 2012 and the news organisation has become a critic of the Duterte administration – and the its brutal war on drugs.

The case against her relates to an eight-year-old report on a businessman’s alleged ties to a former judge.

The controversial law came into force in September 2012 – four months after her article was published.

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Mr Duterte has called Rappler “fake news”