The press has been conducting its business normally and without restriction. In a favorable turn for press freedom, the executive branch on March 20 renewed the urgent status of a bill that would eliminate the crime of contempt, authorized in criminal legislation. The urgent status had been abandoned weeks earlier, sparking a great controversy among press organizations. On November 20 and 21, the daily El Centro de Talca published a report about alleged irregularities committed by a doctor in the city Constitucion. The doctor reportedly took a monthly paycheck without doing his job and was unfit to work as a surgeon because of a psychological disorder. The doctor sued the editor and two journalists of El Centro and three doctors. When no settlement was reached, a trial began on March 7, 2003, in a Talca court, applying for the first time the new criminal procedure established in the legislation to a case involving a media outlet. After the opening statements, presentation of evidence and closing statements, the court acquitted the defendants on March 14. It said the plaintiff had not “established beyond a reasonable doubt that the cited publications had the exclusive intention to damage his personal or professional reputation, but rather they had the intention of providing information about a specific situation in which he had an active and public role.” There are bills under discussion in the legislature that threaten press freedom. They concern privacy, especially for public figures, and Internet coverage of the crime of pedophilia, although that does not affect journalists. A lawsuit against Juan Pablo Illanes, an editor of El Mercurio, continues in the courts. He was accused of committing libel in an editorial November 20, 2002.