Journalists flee Venezuela over libel lawsuit

February 6, 2018 GMT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Four prominent Venezuelan journalists have fled the South American country after being sued by a politically connected businessman over an article alleging irregularities in food sales to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist administration.

Among them is Joseph Poliszuk, co-founder of website He said Tuesday that he and three colleagues were sued by Colombian businessman Alex Saab for libel violations that are punishable by up to four years in prison. Poliszuk says the journalists recently left Venezuela at the advice of lawyers. He said they’ll continue working from abroad.

The website has received numerous awards and took part in the Panama Papers investigation. Saab is disputing an article published last year linking him to Hong Kong-based company accused of selling food to the government at exorbitant prices.