By an unanimous vote the Sala Constitucional (Constiutional Court) accepted the amparo (appeal) file by the Grupo Extra against the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) and the Fiscalía (prosecutor’s office).
The Court will now review the case of wiretapping by the OIJ of Diario Extra journalist, Manuel Estrada and a public official providing the reporter confidential information.
The Justices also ordered, as a precautionary measure, the OIJ ensure the journalist freedom of access to public information, as established in the Constitution and that there be no administrative sanction against the public official it was investigating.
The Court did reject, however, the petition by the Grupo Extra seeking an immediate stop to any wiretapping or interception of telephone calls of its journalists and any other judicial officials. On that, the justices said that the constitutionality of the wiretapping is the basis of the investigation of the appeal.
On Monday, the Diario Extra in its report said judicial agents had tapped the daily’s central switchboard and the telephone of it journalists to learn the source of leaked information by a judicial official.
While the Attorney General, Jorge Chavarría, flatly denied any wiretapping actions, the Fisaclia did admit that there was an apparent filtering (leak) of “sensitive” information, and that it was conducting a criminal invetigation against a public of official for discloing confidential information.