Judges reject defamation bid by construction company Lena

Group Lena – the company cited in Portugal’s long-running Operation Marquês involving former prime minister José Sócrates – has failed in a bid to see university professor and former presidential candidate Paulo Morais prosecuted for defamation. Morais labelled the company “the Portuguese State’s largest supplier” on air last year, and talked about “exchange of favours”. Judges agreed his comments were impolite but nonetheless “tolerated in a democratic plural State”.

Lena had been asking for damages of €100,000.

Público reports that the company was not happy with the decision to archive the case, and tried to appeal. But this too was fruitless. The Court of Appeal upheld the original decision last week, meaning Morais is free to continue speaking his mind on radio, television and indeed everywhere else.

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