Friday, December 10, 2010

Three Managing Editors in Court for Criminal Defamation

June 6th, 2010 

Reports gathered from the region’s journalist organisation established to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and all forms of expression has it that three managing editors are facing charges of criminal defamation in Lome, capital of Togo.
Three managing editors of privately-owned newspapers include Zeus K. Aziadouvo of Liberté, Jean-Baptiste K. D. Dzilan of Forum de la Semaine and Glakpé K. Olivier of the Journal Le Correcteur have since made two appearances in court after they were arraigned on May 19.

“They will reappear before a Magistrate Court over criminal charges relating to “false publication” and “criminal defamation” on June 9, 2010,” the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) said on Friday.
MFWA said the trial of the editors followed a complaint filed by the Togo’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) over a May 8 publications that the editors carried in their respective newspapers. The newspapers had blamed two policemen of the Motor Traffic Unit of allegedly causing the deaths of a commercial motor rider and his female passenger, after the rider had committed an offence by jumping a traffic light.
The newspapers are said to have quoted unnamed eyewitnesses in their reports, accusing the police of pushing the rider off a moving bike resulting in his death as well as that of the female passenger.
The police had since denied the accounts of the newspapers’ sources, and arguing that the man died as a result of over speeding which resulted in him hitting his head against a pole and that the woman passenger was recovering from a shock.

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