The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Court Purges FrontPage Off Criminal Contempt, But…

By Grace Q. Bryant
The Judge of Criminal Court ‘C,’ Ousman Feika, has relief FrontPage off the Criminal Contempt charge.
The Judge’s decision came when the lawyer presenting the respondents prayed the court to purge the contempt charge levied against his client and consider the errors or mistakes made by the paper as if it did not happen.
According to the lawyer, the publications that caused the court to summon the institution contained ‘factual errors’ that were not made with malice or reckless disregard of the truth or any intent to undermine the dignity of the court or to cast expression in any manner on the reputation of the presiding Judge.
The respondents lawyer further explained that the reporter who wrote the story were only recently assigned at the court and is still going through the process of understanding the various aspects of court reporting, including the jargons used by the court, the chambers session, among others procedures.
Judge Feika ruled that the respondent should publish, in its respective newspaper and on its front page, a retraction of the erroneous story published and also adequately inform the public about the operation of the court.
Adding that no Judge of concurrent jurisdiction has the authority to review or undo the decisions and /or actions of his colleagues of concurrent jurisdiction therefore, the Judge maintained that the mandate of the Supreme Court referred to in the stories for which the proceedings are being held was never read by his court and that no action whatsoever was taken as regards the said mandate by him for which the stories in the newspaper were attributed to him.
“The two newspapers are hereby ordered to do the retraction for two days as ordered by this court,” the Judge ruled.
It can be recalled that a Writ of Summoned was issued on FrontPage Management during the weekend for wrongfully reporting on Friday’s edition under the caption, “Samukai Suffers Setbacks As Government Wants His 50% Payment; Says All Co-Defendants Must Jointly Pay 50% of US$ 1.3 Million.”

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