Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Times Newspaper, Philip Neville and his Acting Executive Editor, Pa Issa B.M Kamara were arraigned before Magistrate Emmanuella Harding of Magistrate Court No.6 on Wednesday 1st December, 2010 to answer to two count libel charges of knowingly publishing false news and defamation contrary to the 1965 Public Order Act.
The matter before the learned magistrate was brought against the duo by the Director of Finance of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Abdulai Conteh. Representing the Standard Times Editors was Lyon Jenkins Johnston
On behalf of his client, Lawyer H.M Gevao applied that the Executive Secretary of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) be subpoenaed to tender in court the Standard Times Publication of 18th November, 2010.
Following that, Defence Counsel applied for bail on grounds that the accused persons are respectable citizens. He assured that they would strictly abide by bail conditions and would not interfere with the prosecution witnesses.
This application was not objected by the Prosecution counsel, though he used wits to call on the learned magistrate to use her inherent jurisdiction to place an order on the accused persons to henceforth cease publication on the matter as it was presently before the court. Gevao said such publications by the accused persons will prejudice proceedings on the matter.
Defence Counsel challenged the proposal of the prosecution but his argument was overruled by the magistrate who made clear and insisted that ‘Mr. Philip Neville and his editor have to be quiet on the matter or face the wrath of the court’.
Philip Neville and IBM Kamara were granted bail in the sum of three million leones each. Both defendants were ordered to produce two sureties who must be responsible and senior citizens.
The matter stands adjourned until Tuesday 7th December 2010.
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