Managua, Sep 16 (EFE) .- Television Channel 12, an unofficial media outlet that is seized by the Nicaraguan Government for an alleged debt of 21 million córdobas (607,990 dollars), presented this Wednesday a brief of opposition to the trial and accounting books before the Justice.
The lawyer Gustavo López, representative of the Nicavisión SA company, which operates the media outlet, told journalists that this opposition brief, delivered to Luden Martí Quiroz García, Third Judge of Execution and Embargoes of Managua, who decreed the embargo, a reduction of the embargo.
The lawyer explained that the State, through the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI), requested to seize the assets and bank accounts of Nicavisión SA and its owner and administrator, the businessman Mariano Valle Peters, but the amount seized exceeds what they are charging for tax relief.
According to the defense, the value of the seized assets exceeds 50 million córdobas (1.45 million dollars), a figure higher than the tax relief they charge for undeclared income between the years 2011 to 2013.
“IT IS AN ATTACK ON A BUSINESSMAN”
Therefore, he said that in the document, in addition to the accounting books, they ask the judge to reduce the embargo so that Channel 12 television continues to operate, while it summons the hearing and passes judgment.
Likewise, the lawyer argued that Nicavisión SA does not owe taxes to the Treasury and that to prove it, they presented the judge with a certificate from an authorized public accountant, “which certifies that all income was declared.”
“It is an illegal and arbitrary remedy” and “we think it is an attack on a businessman from a sector as delicate as a media outlet,” said the lawyer, who asked the authorities to reflect on this case.
The lawyer explained that Channel 12 is “paralyzed” because it does not have the economic capacity to pay the wages of the workers, and that among the seized assets is the building where the television station, the vehicles, and the equipment operate.
The communications company, which considers that the State “arbitrarily shields itself in tax policies to repress”, hopes that the judge will call a hearing and issue a sentence as soon as possible.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARGOED TWO CHANNELS AND TWO TV PROGRAMS
On Monday, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) repudiated the embargo on Channel 12 television, and pointed to the Nicaraguan “regime” of shielding itself “arbitrarily in tax policies to repress and silence independent media known for their critical journalism.” .
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also spoke out against this embargo, calling Ortega a “dictator,” whom he also pointed out as “redoubling the repression” against the independent press and the opposition in this Central American country. .
The Nicaraguan State has also kept the building where the 100% Noticias television channel operated since last December, as well as the building where the digital magazines Confidencial and Niú and the television programs Esta Semana and Esta Noche, directed by Carlos Fernando Chamorro, operated, son of former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), and both critics of the Government.
Data from the non-governmental Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation indicate that attacks against journalists and independent media, which increased after the massive protests against Ortega in April 2018, have intensified since last July, when there were 30 in a month, an amount higher compared to the 52 reported in the previous three months.
For its part, the Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators (PCIN) movement reported 351 crimes against press freedom and access to information between March and July.
(c) EFE Agency