There were no significant developments threatening press freedom during this period, but some issues were resolved in court. An April 27 ruling by the Constitutional Chamber clarified the balance between the right to privacy and the right to be informed. The television program “Noticias Repretel” conducted an interview with a hidden camera, as the court put it, “to obtain and later disseminate clear, accurate information of public importance and interest in relation to an issue of concern to all of society: the illegal entry of foreigners into Costa Rican territory and the easy procurement of entry visas, all of which constitutes an irregular situation that should be investigated by the mass media.” Invoking the presence of public interest and the defense of society’s legitimate interests, the court’s ruling concluded that the right to be informed took precedence in this case. The court also pointed out the dual character of the right to be informed as a fundamental right and an institutional guarantee of the democratic system. This guarantee, according to the court, takes concrete shape in the information that the media provides to the public, for the sake of transparency and effective public oversight of public policy. On March 25, the Costa Rican Metrology Laboratory, which is part of the Finance Ministry, attempted to impose the metric system on the media, along with “official” style guidelines on punctuation of numbers and other issues, imposing penalties such as fines and even the closure of a company that fails to comply. The law is aimed at standardizing weights and measures in consumer goods, but the agency wants to equate the media with tuna cans and other such items. On May 17, journalist Eduardo Alvarado of La Nación was acquitted of charges that he had released a preliminary report by the Legislative Assembly suggesting that a former official be sanctioned. The official asked a legislative office to verify whether the report existed and was told that it didn’t. However, two legislators on the committee that drafted the report stated that it indeed did exist, and their testimony sufficed for the judges to acquit Alvarado. On June 22, a judge ordered the government to compensate La Nación for the approximately US$120,000 that the newspaper had paid to Félix Pzerdborsky, a former diplomat who had successfully sued the newspaper for defamation. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights reversed the verdict and ordered the newspaper to be compensated. Now the government must pay La Nación the damages that had been paid to the plaintiff, along with court costs and interest. The Court of Appeals is reviewing the appeal filed by La Nación against a ruling acquitting its journalists of criminal responsibility but ordering them to pay civil damages to a police officer who, according to the Ministry of Public Safety, committed irregularities. The court reasoned that while the journalists committed no crime because they only quoted statements by the ministry, the police officer suffered damage to his reputation and, according to the Civil Code, anyone who causes a tort must compensate for it. The trial in the homicide of journalist Parmenio Medina is still in the oral arguments phase. But with the trial nearing conclusion, a verdict is expected to be handed down within the next two months. The reform proposal regarding press freedom is still pending but has made no headway. Legislators supporting the measure are asking that it be sent to committee to expedite the process, but others are opposed. The reform would establish the “actual malice” standard based on the Sullivan case in the United States, though it would maintain “crimes against honor” as a criminal matter and would allow new grounds for journalists who are charged with such offenses to defend themselves.