Three managing editors of privately-owned newspapers in Lome, the capital of Togo would reappear before a Magistrate Court over criminal charges relating to “false publication” and “criminal defamation”.
The journalists, Zeus K. Aziadouvo of Liberté , Jean-Baptiste K. D. Dzilan of Forum de la Semaine and Glakpé K. Olivier of the Journal Le Correcteur had made two appearances in court after they were arraigned on May 19.
The trial of the editors followed a complaint filed by the country’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 a traffic offence by jumping a traffic light.
The newspapers in their reports quoted unnamed eyewitnesses that accused the police of pushing the rider off a moving bike resulting in his death as well as that of the female passenger.
The police denied the accounts of the newspapers’ sources. The police said the man died as a result of over speeding which resulted in him hitting his head against a pole. The woman passenger, was, however, recovering from a shock.