Nobel winner Maria Ressa and her online news outlet are cleared of tax evasion

13 days ago WGBH

MANILA, Philippines — Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa and her online news company were cleared Wednesday of tax evasion charges she said were among a slew of legal cases used by former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to try to muzzle critical reporting. The Court of Tax Appeals ruled that prosecutors failed to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that Ressa and Rappler Holdings Corp. evaded tax payments in four instances after raising capital through partnerships with two foreign investors. Rappler welcomed the court decision as "the triumph of facts over politics." Human Rights Watch said the tax charges under Duterte's rule were "bogus and politically motivated" and the acquittal of Ressa and Rappler "is a victory for press freedom in the Philippines." The tax court ruled that the Philippine Depositary Receipts issued by Rappler were non-taxable, removing the basis of the tax evasion charges filed by Justice Department prosecutors under Duterte.
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