Spanish reporter gets six-month sentence for illegal wiretapping
NEW YORK–A Spanish reporter arrested while covering a story about the relationship between Spain’s prince and a New York woman was sentenced in early October to six months in jail for illegally recording the woman’s telephone conversations.
Carlos Arriaza Sanchez, a freelance reporter whose articles were often published in a Madrid gossip magazine, was convicted in mid-August of eavesdropping on Giselle Howard’s phone conversations. He was also convicted of illegal possession of an eavesdropping device. Sanchez was in New York to uncover information about Howard and Crown Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne.
Sanchez and two private investigators were arrested in June 1995 outside Howard’s apartment building. The private detectives, who were hired by Sanchez, listened to and recorded Howard’s private telephone conversations.
Officials seized wiretapping devices, surveillance equipment and photographs of Howard from the private detectives’ car, and a transmitting device from the basement of Howard’s apartment building.
Sanchez had stated in news articles that he was surprised at his arrest because eavesdropping was a common journalistic practice in his country. New York law prohibits the taping of private telephone conversations without the consent of one of the parties to the conversation. (New York v. Sanchez; Media Counsel: Michael Hertzeberg; New York)