From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Lawyers write to Liberian Newspaper on 'Email Scandal'
By Sayma Syrenius Cephus
Jan 23, 2009, 20:01


January 15,2009

The Management
New Democrat Newspaper
Old Peugeot Garage Bushrod Island, Monrovia, Liberia

Dear Management:

We have just been retained as legal counsels by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, who has complained to us about your Monday, January 12, 2009 edition under the banner headline: "Email Scandal Reports Unveil Intrigues and Fabrications" in which you deliberately and intentionally printed the photographs of some key members of her family who have nothing to do with the Email Scandal as part of your publication.

Moreover, our client has further complained to us that as part of a well calculated campaign to besmear the image of her family, you also printed on the same front page of your newspaper, US$600,000 as alleged "part payment from CELLCOM, Liberia," and that the amount in question is part of the evidence gathered by the Dunn Commission linking the President and her entire family to the scandal.

Our client has categorically rejected such glaring criminal misrepresentation of the Dunn Commissionís report and contends that you knew or had reason to know that what you have conveyed to your readers is a product of half-truths and blatant lies as the amount referred to, has nothing to do with any transaction in Liberia, let alone the Email scandal.

Our client has therefore asked us to inform you that the so-called "US$600,000 part payment scandal" you reported relates to the consultancy works of Madame Finda Koroma, Executive Director of F.K. Consulting Inc., based in the United States and the transaction highlighted, concerns CELLCOM DRC and CELLCOM Sierra Leone and not CELLCOM Liberia. A copy of Madame Koromaís Email is hereto attached to form part of this letter.

In that light of that, our client has requested us to demand from you a full retraction of your story to be followed by a public apology in subsequent editions of your paper and that your failure to do so we should commence an immediate legal action against you.

However, since our policy is to hear the other side of every story and then attempt an amicable solution, you are hereby cited to a conference at our offices on Friday, January 16,2009 at 3:00P.M. Please fail not to attend as there would be no further notice as to what appropriate step we might take to bring timely relief to our client consistent with law.

Sayma Syrenius Cephus
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW & One of Counsels

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