Diario Extra newspaper complained Monday that it had been the victim of telephone tapping by Costa Rica's OIJ investigative agency, calling it an abuse of authority and a violation of press freedom.

The OIJ and prosecutors tapped the telephone calls of the paper's reporters for months with the aim of identifying their sources, the daily said.

"They tapped all the calls to determine which public officials our (reporters) had spoken with," said Diario Extra deputy editor Paola Hernandez.

An article published Monday by the paper - which is part of Grupo Extra - says that court documents provided by a source include a report regarding calls and text messages between reporters and information sources.

"They are bothered because here we're getting information they don't like," Hernandez added.

Attorney General Jorge Chavarria said Monday at a press conference that the authorities did not tap anyone's telephones, but rather monitored certain specific calls as part of the investigation of a judicial official who apparently divulged confidential information.

He denied that any journalists' telephone had been tapped and said that the tapping that was done was performed only on the calls of the now-suspected judicial official.

The Supreme Court said in a communique that in Monday's session it was agreed to ask the AG's office and the OIJ for a report regarding this case.

Grupo Extra's chief counsel, Carlos Serrano, told reporters that the company will ask Costa Rica's Constitutional Court to intervene to "safeguard the right the journalist has to keep a source private and the right the people of Costa Rica have to receive information that is in the public interest." EFE