LISBON Oct 14 A Portuguese court has dropped a
case accusing a Canadian academic of market manipulation for
predicting in a blog six years ago that Portugal would need an
Peter Boone, a lecturer at the London School of Economics,
co-authored blogs saying that, after Greece was bailed out by
the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Portugal
was likely to be next. ( here
The Lisbon criminal court issued a decision saying it had
dropped the case, without elaborating. Public prosecutors can
still appeal in a higher court.
The dramatic economic situation in Portugal in 2010 and
2011, when its bond yields rose sharply, making it hard for the
state to borrow money, prompted sharp debate over forecasts made
by overseas economists, who tended to be more pessimistic than
Portugal was forced to seek a 78-billion-euro bailout in
Lisbon prosecutors had accused Boone of manipulating markets
in order to benefit Moore Capital Management, a U.S. hedge
Boone argued in the case that the blog postings had not made
any investment recommendations and were based on publicly
available information that was used by other economic
commentators as well.
In a statement, Boone said the decision was a victory for
free speech in Portugal and "guarantees that all specialists in
the financial sector can continue to express their opinions on
the economic and financial policies of the country freely and
without fear of persecution".
After adopting a series of harsh money-saving measures,
Portugal exited the bailout in 2014.
(Reporting By Axel Bugge and Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Kevin