CARACAS – Globovision television handed over $2.1 million to the Venezuelan government on Friday rather than see $5.6 million of the network’s assets frozen for refusing to pay a fine levied last October.
The money was paid “under protest” and represents an “enormous sacrifice” for the network, Globovision legal counsel Ricardo Antela told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
He said Globovision expects to wins its appeal against the original fine and get the $2.1 million back.
The Conatel regulatory agency imposed the penalty last October in connection with the network’s coverage of a prison uprising in June 2011.
Globovision, which takes a critical line toward leftist President Hugo Chavez, was accused of editing video and audio material to present a misleading account of the events at the prison outside Caracas,
Conatel said the network’s coverage was so slanted that it constituted a defense of criminal acts.
The outlet challenged the fine in the courts and said it would delay paying pending a final judicial resolution of the case. On Thursday, however, the Venezuelan Supreme Court embargoed $5.6 million of Globovision assets.
Network Vice President Carlos Zuloaga said he expects the embargo to be officially lifted on Monday. EFE