Implementation of a new Penal Code, which literally promotes freedom of speech and information, still has not been applied consistently by the Public Ministry and the courts. The changes are aimed at decriminalizing defamation-related offenses (known as “crimes against honor”) as they apply to public servants and are consistent with the American Convention on Human Rights. During the week of October 20, 2008 La Prensa published a series of articles, implicating Daniel Delgado Diamante, then government and justice minister, in the death of a military man in 1970. On November 14, the minister filed a complaint at the Public Ministry against the writer and the newspaper for “calumnia” (false accusation of a crime) and “injuria” (insult). The complaint was accepted. However, direct discussions were opened with the attorney general’s office to clarify the Public Ministry’s interpretation of the text of the law, which seeks to decriminalize the two offenses as they relate to high level public servants. In another incident, Panamá América published an article about José Nelson Urrego, who was convicted of money laundering in Colombia. Authorities in that country seized his properties as illegally obtained through drug traffic and money laundering. Urrego was arrested in Panama, since he had a luxurious residence on an island registered in his name. When the National Police announced his arrest, the press release said he was the communications secretary of the Norte del Valle drug cartel. Based on that government information, the newspaper published an article on “capos” who live in Panama, including Urrego’s name on that list. He then sued the daily for “calumnia.” The old Penal Code provided punishment for publishing or reproducing offensive statements by a third party, but these provisions were revoked in the new Code. Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office accepted the complaint against the newspaper, and the process is now in its initial stage. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights recently criticized the Panamanian government for a case related to the tapping and disclosure of a telephone call to Santander Tristán Donoso, a lawyer, in 1996. The call was tapped and publicized by José Antonio Sossa, the national attorney general at the time, and the lawyer reported it. Later, the attorney general opened a court case for defamation against Tristán, and he was convicted in 2004. The lawyer called this a “reprisal” by the official. The court ruled that the conviction of the lawyer was “unnecessary” and therefore “violated freedom of expression.” The court, however, acquitted the government of charges of violating judicial guarantees, due process and the rule of law, as well as alleged failure to amend legislation concerning freedom of expression and crimes against honor. The judges made it clear that Panamanian legislation concerning crimes against honor is consistent with the American Convention on Human Rights, and stressed that after these events, “important reforms” had been implemented with respect to press freedom. Still in place are restrictions that prevent the print media from participating in radio or television companies. These restrictions are set forth in Law 24 of 1999, which reorganized the legal framework governing radio and television services. Article 1 of this law states that the purpose is to promote and protect investment, free competition, and quality among license holders. However, it bars print media outlets from purchasing, administering, or operating radio or television stations in Panama. It expressly states that no radio or television station “may be controlled, directly or indirectly, by a newspaper with nationwide circulation.”