Liberia ALERT: Court fines newspaper, photojournalists

A Civil Law Court in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, ordered the New Democrat, a privately-owned newspaper to pay an outrageous amount of US$ 900,000 as damages for defaming the reputation of Consolidated Group Incorporated, a pay per view provider in Liberia.

The fine fell short of the US$1.3 million that the plaintiff demanded.

The fine followed an October 2008 article that the New Democrat published accusing the former Public Works Minister, Lusinee Donzo, of engaging in underhand dealing with the group. The article headlined: “For Scrap Government paid 800-thousand US Dollars” alleged that the group supplied sub standards equipment to the ministry.

The newspaper’s counsel expressed an interest to appeal.

In another development, Boima Boima, a New Democrat photographer who attempted taking photographs of jurors after the court session was harassed by court officials and his camera was damaged.

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