Tanzania: Jailed Tanzanian Journalist's Lawyer Calls for Pardon

(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Freelance journalist Erick Kabendera who is facing economic crimes on three charges has yet to apply for the plea bargain even after the window was extended to October 6.

The DPP yesterday presented 467 names of people who are ready to negotiate with the state for a special amnesty for economic crimes, which allow suspects awaiting trial to negotiate their release.

However, Kabendera's lawyer, Jebra Kambole said his client had not applied because he cannot afford it.

The lawyer for the journalist on Tuesday called for President John Magufuli to pardon his client, who he maintained was innocent.

Kabendera was charged in August with organised crime, failing to pay taxes and money laundering.

"Working as a journalist is challenging and if Kabendera somehow, somewhere erred, we apologise. If the president hears this, we kindly ask him to consider it and as his lawyers we are ready to do something if required to secure his freedom," lawyer Jebra Kambole told reporters after Kabendera's latest court appearance.

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Prosecutors told the court their investigations were not yet complete and the case was pushed to October 11.

Kabendera is still receiving medical care in prison as he has difficulty walking due to the paralysis of his right foot, and has difficulty breathing at night, Kambole said.

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