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Election Monitors on libel charges

Election Monitors on libel charges

Two senior officials of the National Elections Watch (NEW) (a local election monitor), appeared before a Freetown Court presided over by Magistrate Henry Sandy on defamatory libel charges. The officials include the Spokesperson Ngolo Katta and the National Coordinator James Lahai.

A third person, NEW’s Chair Frances Fortune, was absent in court. The matter was filed on behalf of Honourable Ibrahim Bundu of Constituency Fifty-two. One of the defence lawyers Henry Ngevao told Magistrate Henry Sandy that the accused Frances Fortune was absent because she was not summoned and was currently out of the country.

According to the statement of offence, the NEW officials were accused of defamatory libel contrary to Section 26 of the Public Order Act of 1965. According to the statement, the accused used a NEW press statement in January this year to maliciously publish defamatory and libelous statements against Honourable Bundu.

He applied for bail for the two accused present in court and requested for an adjournment. The two accused Ngolo Kata and James Lahai who were in court, were granted bail of Five million Leones each and two sureties.  The matter was adjourned to the fifteenth of next month.

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