Sierra Leone: Five Journalists on trial for defamation

Proprietor and managing editor of the Standard Times newspaper, Philip Neville, and four other journalists in Sierra Leone are standing trial for alleged defamatory publication and undermining the government of Sierra Leone.

Philip Neville

Philip Neville, Clifford Kabbia and Mustapha Sesay of Standard Times Newspaper together with Ibrahim Alusine Kamara and Moisa Keikura of Sierra Express Media and Future Newspaper respectively on Wednesday 15th May, 2019 made their third appearance before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Court No. 1.

The trial of the journalists just happened after the president promised Sierra Leoneans during the State Opening of Parliament on 2nd May 2019, that he is committed to repeal the seditious libel law, section of the Public Order Act 1965, which criminalizes defamation and seditious libel.

Few days after President Bio’s pronouncement, the CID Director, Gabriel Tommy, filed charges against the journalists alleging the five journalists defame his character in the Standard Times and Future Newspapers.

Each defendant was granted bailed in the sum of Le 20, 000, 000 and the matter adjourned on Wednesday 22nd May, 2019.

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