Grupo Extra to file complaint, and another paper has problems

Grupo Extra’s deputy director said Wednesday that the media organization would file an appeal against the Poder Judicial at 11:30 a.m. today to further the allegations of wiretapping of reporters’ home and company phones.

In addition, Manuel Estrada, a newspaper reporter, was to appear before the internal affairs section of the Judicial Investigating Organization to give a statement about the beating he received during an encounter with agents.

The statements came from Paola Hernández.

The announcement comes at the same time that another newspaper reported that it has had trouble, too. The newspaper Semanario Universidad suffered a denial of service attack on its Web site, according to Mauricio Herrera, director of the publication. The newspaper is associated with the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro.

The statement said the Web site was out of service for eight hours. The newspaper servers were faced with millions of electronic requests per minute, according to Alonso Castro, director of the university’s Centro de Información.

The attack prevented readers from seeing the results of the latest opinion polling related to the national presidential race, said the newspaper.

The poll showed Johnny Araya of Partido Liberación Nacional with 20.4 percent of support from respondents. José María Villalta Florez-Estrada of Frente Amplio had 15.3 percent and Otto Guevara Guth of Movimiento Libertario had 11.2 percent, according to the newspaper.

Nearly a quarter of the respondents, 24.4 percent, said they did not know for whom they would vote if the election were held the day of the survey, which was done by the university.

To win a candidate needs to get 40 percent of the vote Feb. 2.

Executives at Diario Extra said that the judiciary tapped the telephones of reporters in order to find out who  was leaking information to the press. The allegations caused an international stir.

Estrada was one of the reporters who was the target of wiretapping. He also said that several judicial agents trapped him in an airplane during a simulation exercise, handcuffed him and injured him.

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