A Paraguayan judge sent this Wednesday in writing his ruling against the former goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, sentenced to one year in prison, with suspension of the execution of the sentence, for defaming the president of Conmebol, Alejandro Domínguez. Sentencing judge Manuel Aguirre told Efe that he transferred in “written support” the sentence that he announced on May 25 at the end of the oral and public trial against the former soccer player and future candidate for the Presidency of Paraguay.
The demand of the president of Conmebol was based on expressions made by Chilavert on social networks, between September and December 2020. Aguirre pointed out that from the date on which each party is notified, they have ten days to appeal.
He explained that in his sentence he established the prohibition of leaving the country, although Chilavert, who lives in Argentina, will be able to travel without inconveniences as long as he notifies the execution court. The exporter will also not be able to change his address and must sign an appearance book every three months. The exporter will also not be able to change his address and must sign an appearance book every three months.
The judge admitted that the sentence will only become final once the ten-day period established for appeal has expired. Regarding his decision, the lawyer defended that the defamation occurred “through an uncontrolled means of communication, such as social networks.” He even considered that “humiliating” expressions and “repeated lies” were spread, which, in his opinion, “fit the crime of defamation.”
The criminal lawsuit filed by the head of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) included the crimes of slander and libel.
He will go to the Supreme Court if his appeal is unsuccessful.
Asked about the sentence, Chilavert told Efe on Monday that they are going to appeal, although he admitted that they hope to “read well” together with his lawyer, Pedro Wilson Marinoni, the judge’s arguments. “We are going to appeal, because we do not agree with the issue that they have condemned us for defamation, it is unfair,” said Chilavert, before he received the document.
He said he is willing to resort again to the Supreme Court if his appeal does not prosper and even reach the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), based in Washington.
In any case, he considered that in the end “Chilavert won”, since he was not convicted of slander and insult, nor was he imposed a “millionaire” sum of compensation or the two years in prison that they requested against him or community work. “We told all the truths, we did not defame anyone,” Chilavert alleged, demanding his acquittal and defending that his evidence and arguments “are very valid.”
Domínguez’s lawyer, satisfied
For his part, the lawyer Claudio Lovera, Domínguez’s legal representative, assured Efe on Tuesday that they are “satisfied” with the “explanation regarding the facts for which the court condemned.” Lovera, who also testified while awaiting the written sentence, pointed out that “there was no ruling out the facts”, but rather the court opted for the legal classification of defamation. The jurist assured that this qualification by the judge “does not offend” the complaint, since it was taken for granted that the fact that was attributed “is worthy of condemnation.”