Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - A Brazilian judge on Wednesday overturned a ruling that barred leading newspapers from publishing reports on an extortion attempt against President Michel Temer's wife.
Folha de Sao Paulo and Globo, the country's two biggest dailies, were forced to halt publication online and in print of reports giving details of the attempted extortion last year by a man convicted of hacking Marcela Temer's cellphone.
The reports reproduced chat messages between the first lady and the blackmailer who, at one point, referred to a video he said he had hacked that "drags the name of your husband in the mud."
On Monday, the newspapers removed reports which the judge had ruled harmed "the inviolability of the privacy" of the hacking victim.
Folha reported that another judge has now overturned the ruling.
In his ruling, which was posted on the Folha website, Judge Arnoldo Camanho de Assis said that the publishing ban was "apparently unconstitutional" as "it violates the freedom which is a true pillar of the democratic rule of law."
"There is no indication... that the journalistic activity on the part of (Folha) was meant to follow an irresponsible or abusive editorial line," he wrote.
Folha and Globo argued that the details they wished to publish regarding Temer's wife had already become available in court documents and that their suppression in the newspapers amounted to censorship.
"Those who inform have to be accountable for the relevance of what they publish. Those who feel harmed have every right to appeal to the courts," Folha said. "What is not reasonable is to censor before publication, something that should be consigned to the memory of authoritarian regimes."
The hacker, Silvonei Jose de Jesus Souza, was sentenced in October of last year to five years and 11 months in prison after being convicted of trying to extort $96,000 from Marcela Temer in exchange for not publishing audio and images on her phone.