Update Sierra Leone: Editor acquitted

Sahr Musa Yamba, editor of Concord Times an independent newspaper based in Freetown, Sierra Leone who was arrested by plain clothes Policemen on March 20, on the instructions of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Frederick Carew, and asked to report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) office the next day, has no case to answer after all.

Omrie Golley, a Sierra Leonean charged with treason, had told journalists after one of the court adjournments that statements made by the Attorney General about him were false. Following the information, the Concord Times, Exclusive, The Spectator and Awareness Times newspapers published the story. The Attorney General who did not take kindly to the publications insisted that Golley had created an impression that he was a liar and so invited Yamba, editor of one of the newspapers that published the story, for questioning.

On March 21, however, in a meeting with the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Ben Kargbo, the Attorney General discharged Yamba and the editors of Concord Times, Exclusive, The Spectator and Awareness Times but warned, “Mr. President, tell your people, tell the journalists to report the truth and I want them to understand that I am not an enemy of the press, all I asked for was fair treatment,” Justice Carew said.

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