The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that prohibits police from tracing phone calls to journalists in order to discover their sources. The decision comes after Grupo Extra filed suit against the judicial police (OIJ) for tracing the phone calls of journalist Manuel Rodríguez Estrada of Diario Extra.
Rodríguez became a target after he published information from a kidnapping investigation that had not been made public. Investigators hoped to connect Rodríguez with someone in their office who had leaked the information.
Tracing phone calls in Costa Rica does not require a judicial warrant. Attorneys for Grupo Extra argued that investigating journalistic sources violates freedom of the press. The court agreed, and forbade police from doing so in the future.