José Manuel Colaço Mestre filmed a report for the TV station SCI about the alleged bribery of Portuguese football referees. The report included an interview
, in which the actions of the Chairman of FC Porto and the then President of the Portuguese Football League, Mr Pinto de Costa, were discussed. Mr Colaço Mestre questioned his interviewee about Mr Pinto de Costa’s dual role, asking whether there was a problem with him being in charge of one of the country’s largest football clubs whilst also being “the referees’ boss”.
This was enough for Mr Pinto de Costa to press charges for criminal defamation.
Mr Colaço Mestre and SCI were both found guilty of defamation, solely on the basis of the questions asked in the interview. They were both made to pay damages to Mr Pinto de Costa. Mr Colaço Mestre was made to pay an additional fine or face three months’ imprisonment.