Case against Liberian editor dropped

2013-11-20 15:18

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Monrovia - The editor of one of Liberia's leading newspapers who was jailed over reports about government corruption said on Wednesday all charges against him had been dropped.

Rodney Sieh, who publishes Frontpage Africa, was taken into custody on 21 August following a Supreme Court ruling that the paper should pay $1.6m for libelling former agriculture minister J Chris Toe.

The case drew heavy criticism from international rights groups which accused Liberia of undermining press freedom and creating a climate of self-censorship.

"Minister Toe's lawyer has dropped all the charges. On Thursday Frontpage Africa will resume publication," Sieh told AFP.

The court had ordered that the paper be closed down until the damages were paid in full and Sieh was sent to jail, where he launched a hunger strike and spent much of his sentence in hospital following a rapid decline in his condition.

But Sieh's lawyer, Kofi Woods, said his client had been freed following negotiations between Toe's lawyer and religious leaders in the west African nation.

Frontpage Africa has been vociferous in its criticism of the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in recent years.

Toe successfully sued Frontpage after Sieh wrote a series of stories in 2009 accusing the minister of embezzling agriculture ministry funds.

"This will not discourage me from saying the truth. I will always say the truth. Conditions in the prison were very bad, but that was the price to pay," he said.

Read more on:    ellen johnson sirleaf  |  liberia  |  west africa

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