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

Spoon Network In Court For Libel, Slander, But…

A lawsuit has been filed against the Management of Spoon TV, FM Communication Network and its owner Stanton Witherspoon.

The former Deputy Director General for Information Coordination at the Liberia Institute of Statistic and Geo-Information Services, Wilmot Smith filed for a Writ of Summon before the Civil Law Court.

Judge Kennedy Peabody yesterday commanded the defendants to appear before the court to answer to complainant Smith’s action of Damage for Libel and Slander.

“You are further commanded to notify the said defendants to file formal appearance and answer in my office on or before January 16, 2023; meanwhile you will make your official returns endorsed on the back of the Writ of Summons as to the manner of its service,” Judge Peabody notified the defendants.

Plaintiff Smith on Friday, January 6, 2023, prayed the court to adjudge the defendants liable for damages in the amount not less than US$2,500,000 (for general damages to be decided by the trial jury, and US$500,000 in punitive damages and US$500,000 for successful attorney fees.

The plaintiff’s legal team headed by Cllr. Arthur Johnson said that his client is a law-abiding and eminent citizen who has served in several positions of high trust and continues to serve in the Republic of Liberia based on the reputation he had built for himself.

Cllr. Johnson said that the 1st defendant is the employer of the 2nd defendant. The 1st-defendant is engaged in the administration, management, and operation of New Media and Talk Shows operated on several radio stations in Liberia and other social media networks operations in Liberia and the United States of America that are listened to by thousands of people in and out of Liberia named and styled as the Spoon TV Talk Show, and Network Communication

He revealed that between June 2022 and November 30, 2022, on the Spoon Talk Show, they named 2nd defendant engaged in a systematic campaign to defame plaintiff by alleging that plaintiff stole and personally converted Liberian National Population and Housing Census money.

According to the complainant, the defendants were asked to retract their statements against the plaintiff because such reports tend to defame, embarrass, and cause inconvenience to the plaintiff in a gullible society as up to the filing of the complaint, the defendants had not retracted their statements that have been carried out in print and electronic media for the sole purpose of naming, shaming, and harming plaintiff.

According to the complaint, the objective of the 2nd defendant’s action was to defame and embarrass and injure the reputational integrity of the plaintiff, which defendants have achieved because up to the time of the filing of this complaint, the defendants are still engaged in carrying out these slanderous statements on social media and other internet platforms against the dignified image of the plaintiff.

According to him, during the defendants’ libelous campaign against his client, the defendants, particularly the 2nd defendant, labeled plaintiff as someone who had converted funds intended for the national census into personal use.

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