Ecuador Pardons 4 Journalists

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From Reuters: Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correa, pardoned three newspaper publishers and a former columnist who had been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay $40 million damages in a libel case that angered media freedom advocates.

Since taking office in 2007, Correa has been sparring with journalists whom he accuses of trying to undermine his rule of the South American OPEC member. Media critics accuse him of muzzling them and behaving like an autocrat.

"I've decided to ... pardon the accused and grant them remission of the sentences that they rightly received," Correa said in a televised speech, using special presidential privilege to grant pardons.

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