Associate Justice Kabineh Ja'neh
Supreme Court To Decide Chronicle Newspaper Fate Monday
By Comfort Johnson &Richard Stephens
MONROVIA September 27 (LINA) – Supreme Court Justice in Chamber Kabineh Ja’neh has said final determination of the case Press Union of Liberia (PUL) versus the Government of Liberia (GOL) will be made on Monday, September 29, at the Court.
Justice Ja’neh’s made the statement Friday following arguments by defense and prosecution counsels in Chambers.
The PUL had gone to court on behalf of the National Chronicle Newspaper claiming violation of press freedom after the government shut the paper over a story the authorities said had national security implications.
In the arguments, the Defense team headed by Cllr. Syrenius Cephus alleged that the offices of the newspaper were ransacked and several equipment, including computers, taken away.
The Liberia News Agency reports that Cllr. Cephus further argued that the government did not accord his client the due process of law when he was prevented from travelling out of the country.
He said Article 15a of the 1986 Constitution provides that every person has the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof, noting that such rights shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by the government.
For his part, the Prosecution headed by Cllr. Daku Mulbah argued that the petition filed by the Government has no content that calls for the closure of the National Chronicle Newspaper.
Cllr. Mulbah also said that the government through the Ministry of Information oversees the publication of newspapers in the country and as such has the authority to shut down any newspaper(s) that violates ethical norms.
He further argued that in the case of the National Chronicle Newspaper, the MICAT authority only advised the publisher to suspend publication while investigation was ongoing.