A Spanish Court, the Audiencia Provincial de Madrid, has thrown out in its entirety a lawsuit brought by Florentino Pérez and the construction company ACS against Diario AS, its editor Alfredo Relaño and the economist José María Gay de Liébana for insulting their honour.
Complete lack of slanderous statements
The ruling, dated 19 December, annuls the original court decision in favour of the claimants, concluding that there was a complete absence of slanderous, defamatory or degrading statements in what was published. Florentino Pérez and ACS are liable for the costs of the litigation.
Analysis of Real Madrid's accounts
Florentino Pérez and the company ACS brought the action in relation to an interview published by AS with Gay de Liébana on 25 and 26 September 2014, in which the economist gave an exhaustive analysis of Real Madrid’s accounts. He also gave his opinion about recent signings by the club: “James signed and ACS won a contract for a major work for which they’ll bill 696 million euros… Then we have the matter of Chicharito. The day his signing was announced we saw the model for the new airport in Mexico City: 9,000 million dollars looking for a construction company… And there’s also talk about major public works in Costa Rica, and Keylor Navas is in goals for Real Madrid”. Various publications had already published information regarding the relationships between these facts before this interview was published.
Action brought against Alfredo Relaño for analysis of Navas
Florentino Pérez and ACS included Diario AS and its editor Alfredo Relaño in the legal action against Gay de Liébana. The action against Relaño was in respect of an article he wrote on 23 September 2014, headlined Keylor Navas comes in for Iker Casillas, in which he made the following argument: “Keylor Navas is a formidably good keeper, over and above the existence or non-existence of contracts that could be signed in his country of origin, a topic so in vogue right now”.
Spanish court rejects Florentino Pérez's lawsuit
The Spanish Court, rejecting the original decision held that its "insufficient legal basis… appears to accept, on its own, the case made in the lawsuit, without making reference to any proof that would lead to the conclusion that the honour [of Florentino Pérez or ACS] had been insulted”.
The ruling requires Florentino Pérez and ACS to meet the costs of the original court case and throws out their lawsuit in its entirety. The decision can be appealed to the Spanish High Court.