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Court orders Valencia TV to read out libel sentence

Broadcaster sanctioned for screening documentary during murder trial

The Valencia regional High Court has handed down convictions against the makers of and participants in a 2007 television documentary that alleged a widespread conspiracy in the 1992 murders of three girls in Alcàsser.

As part of the sentence, the court ordered Canal 9-TV Valencia to broadcast on its nightly newscast the part of the ruling that finds the broadcaster guilty of libel for transmitting the documentary during the trial. The channel will have to do so six times over a two-week period.

The court sentenced Fernando García, the father of Miriam García, one of the murdered girls, to 15 months in prison for slandering prosecutors, forensic scientists and the four civil guard officers in charge of the case.

Also sentenced to 15 months was criminal expert Juan Ignacio Blanco, who appeared in the special reports, which were broadcast each night after the trial of the sole defendant who was later convicted of murder.

In its ruling handed down on October 20 but made public on Thursday, the court said that the García and Blanco slandered and libeled all the officials in charge of the murder investigation during their nightly appearances during the special reports.

Both were ordered to pay 3,616 euros each in fines and more than 430,000 euros in damages.