Costa Rican priest acquitted of murdering radio host

A Costa Rican court has acquitted a prominent Catholic priest of charges that he had hired a hitman to kill a popular radio host.

Radio host Parmenio Medina was shot dead outside his home in 2001 after accusing Father Minor Calvo on his program of pocketing donations at the priest’s own church-affiliated radio station.

A three-judge panel ruled there was not enough evidence to convict the priest of conspiring to murder Calvo, though judges did find him guilty of embezzling the donations.

Calvo’s business partner at the radio station was convicted on murder conspiracy charges, as was the driver of the getaway car used by the killer.

Calvo has steadily maintained his innocence since being arrested in 2003 and his lawyer said he would appeal the fraud conviction. The court sentenced the priest to 15 years in prison.

Before his death, Medina had told police he was receiving death threats.