ALERT 08/07/2013 12:10:51
Guinea: Guinean court charges journalist with libel


Text of report by Nouhou Balde entitled "Society-Journalist Mandian Sidibe, charged with "defamation through media" published by Guineenews website on 4 July
"Mandian Sidibe has been charged with libel by means of the press and placed under judicial control", one of his lawyers, Advocate Thierno Souleymane Balde, told Guineenews some minutes ago.
It was around 1030 [local time] that our colleague and his lawyer were received by the judge of the Dixxin Court of First Instance, Mr Paul Lama, Lawyer Thierno Souleymane Balde told us. According to the lawyer and chairman of the Institute for Democracy and Rule of Law Research, had played back to them at the Dixxin Court of First Instance, a transmission of broadcasts in which Mandian Sidibe was accused of making some statements on his "Planete FM" where he is the managing director.
The statements are: "There are some people who are ready to prevent the holding of the elections. Internal quarrels in the RPG [ruling Rally of the Guinean People] have the tendency of not giving any chance to the organization of the legislative election as scheduled. We know that threats of kidnapping and physical liquidation are facing Mandian Sidibe. These are by well informed sources; my sister is based at the presidency of the republic. Orders have allegedly been given for the abduction of Mandian Sidibe and or to go ahead and eliminate him physically since all simply Mandian Sidibe has become an embarrassment".
It must be noted that there was no complainant and the course of action leads to the belief that it is the prosecutor at the Dixxin Court of First Instance who took the action on his own volition in view of Article 128 of Law Two on "Media freedom", which was invoked at the court, Lawyer Thierno Souleymane said.
"We are going to appeal against this indictment, since there is no proofs", the counsel vowed, adding that "The judge said that he was there to indict him, whereas he was not forced to indict him if there wasn"t sufficient proof".
It is worth recalling that our colleague, Mandian Sidibe, was banned recently from going on air by the chairperson of the National Communication Council (CNC), Mrs Martine Conde, while his "Planete FM" radio was shut down for one month through the same ruling of the CNC.
Mandian Sidibe and his colleagues working at the "Planete FM" radio, who received the support of their private media colleagues, had their suspension lifted after filing an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Source: Guineenews website, in French 4 July 2013; translated and quoted by BBC Monitoring Global Newsline Media File, 8 July 2013
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