Sierra Leone ALERT: Editor held for libel

Paul Kamara, editor and proprietor of the ‘For Di People’ newspaper was, on April 25, 2002, charged by the Freetown High Court for allegedly defaming the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Justice Tolla Thompson.

Tolla Thompson is also a Judge of the Appeal Court. Kamara was charged with a two-count libel and placed under a Le10 million bail by the court presided over by Justice Umu Tejan Jalloh. The bail is to be accompanied by two real estate sureties located in Freetown. Kamara is expected to re-appear in court on May 9, 2002.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) considers the high bail imposed on the editor by the court as a means to intimidate and gag the media.

The MFWA reminds the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Cecil Blake to keep the government’s promise that it would “create the space for the media to function without hindrance”.

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