11 August 2016

Liberia: Energy Minister Sues Voice FM for U.S.$5 Million in Damages

Photo: Facebook
Vocal talkshow host, Henry Costa.

Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo has filed a lawsuit at the Civil Law Court in Monrovia against Voice FM for allegedly defaming and impugning his character and reputation both in Liberia and internationally.

The Lands, Mines and Energy Minister is seeking damages in the amount of US$5 million.

The Voice FM through its Executive Officer Henry Costa and broadcaster Woods Wanton were early this month summoned by the Civil Law Court to appear before it during its September Term of Court to answer to the charges filed by the complainant.

In the writ, Minister Sendolo alleged that the defendants made false and baseless statements, representations, allegations and accusations on Voice FM radio that he was involved in a meeting with some officials and executives of Arcelor Mittal International and Arcelor Mittal Liberia and requested US$3 million bribe for legislators, and that he also benefited from the bribe.

The writ indicated that the defendants stated that they have an audio recording of the meeting and that during the meeting Minister Sendolo requested for the amount.

The writ further stated that the defendants alleged that payment of the bribe was agreed upon to influence the legislators.

According to the writ, the defendants further alleged in their broadcast that they have a picture of the meeting.

The writ quotes the plaintiff as saying that the defendants damaged his professional, family, business, and personal reputations and by law the defendants are liable to the plaintiff in damages unless they can prove the truthfulness of the broadcast or otherwise prove that they were not in reckless disregard of the truth when they made the broadcast

According to the writ, the defendants will appear in court on September 19 and that upon their failure to appear, a judgment by default will be rendered against them.

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