5 April 2007
Appeals court suspends prison sentences for two journalists sued by Gaddafi for defamation
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders voiced relief at an Algiers appeals court's decision on 4 April 2007 to give two journalists suspended sentences of six months in prison and a fine of 50,000 dinars (approx. 530 euros) instead of the 12-month jail terms and fine of 500,000 dinars (approx. 5,300 euros) requested by the prosecutor. The appeal court also rejected the prosecutor's request for the newspaper to be suspended for a year.
The ruling effectively concludes the libel suit brought in October 2006 against Ali Fodil, the editor of the Arabic-language daily "Ech-Chourouk", and Naïla Berrahal, one of his journalists, by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi over reports published two months earlier which, it was alleged, "attacked his person, the Libyan state and the security of the Algerian and Libyan states."