23 October 2007

Liberia: Chief Justice Threatens Newspaper Journalists

press release

Liberia’s Chief Justice, Johnnie N. Lewis on October 22, 2007 hinted that he would soon start jailing journalists who violate the provisions of the Liberia’s constitution.

At a meeting with five privately-owned newspaper editors in his office, Justice Lewis said the journalists have been misspelling his name consistently and attaching his photographs to stories that have nothing to do with him.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent quoted Justice Lewis angrily as saying: “this is the last warning; I am calling on you to desist (from the practice) or be charged with contempt, which is punishable by 30 days imprisonment”.

Chief Justice further stated “may be after spending 30 days at South Bay, you would become responsible journalists”.   He then provided the journalists with plain sheets of paper and dictated to them how he should be referred to in their publications-“The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor Johnnie N. Lewis”

Also present at the meeting were four other judges of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

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