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One journalist sentenced for allegedly defaming former justice minister, another on trial for allegedly defaming first lady

(MISA/IFEX) - On 23 June 2008, the Angolan journalist Felisberto da Grâça Campos was sentenced by an Angolan court to six months in prison for allegedly defaming former justice minister Paulo Tjipilika. The journalist was sentenced on charges of defamation, libel, and abuse of the press.

Grâça Campos is the director of the weekly "Semanario Angolese". The state argues that he defamed Tjipilika in a story alleging that the former justice minister confiscated houses.

Grâça Campos' lawyer, Paulo Rangel, says he has since launched an appeal and it was accepted.

"The sentence will not be implemented," insists Rangel.

Grâça Campos had been jailed for a month on the same charge and later released. It is not clear why he was sentenced again for the same "offence".

Rangel blasted the court for what he called "an unjust and excessive sentence."

Another journalist, William Tonet, director of the weekly "Folha 8", also faces trial on defamation charges brought against him by the Angolan First Lady, Ana Paula Dos Santos. A ruling in his case is imminent.

Updates the Graca Campos case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/87635

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