Lawmaker’s immunity brings key defamation case element

The Corte Suprema de Justicia has asked the legislature to lift the immunity of  Claudio Monge, a lawmaker with the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

He has been named in a defamation case brought by Industrias Infinito and its Canadian parent firm Infinito Gold. The case also names an individual called Manrique Oviedo.

Infinito issued a press release Wednesday saying that Monge acted in bad faith when discussing the company’s Las Crucitas mine. Some of the discussions were on radio.

Monge, himself, issued a press release that said the court case was an effort to undermine environmentalists. He said that to lift his immunity would be a grave precedent.

Defamation is a criminal charge in Costa Rica.

The Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo voided the mining company’s concession in 2010 and now the firm is threatening to take the country to international arbitration where it would seek a large amount of compensation.

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