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Sunday 22 September 2019

Journalist contesting tax charges freed on bail

Maria Ressa said the charges against her and the Rappler website she runs are politically motivated.

Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler (AP)
Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A prominent Philippine journalist who has been sued for tax evasion along with the online news service she heads has been freed on bail after reporting herself for arrest.

Maria Ressa, CEO of the Rappler website, said taxes had been paid properly by her news service and the five charges are politically motivated.

Ressa appears in court in Manila (AP)

Rappler has been critical of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, who in turn has accused several independent media groups in the Philippines of biased reporting.

Mr Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs which has left thousands of mostly urban poor dwellers dead has drawn condemnation by western governments and UN bodies.

Ressa was freed on 60,000 pesos (£900) bail on the one charge for which an arrest warrant was issued.

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