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Army generals launch lawsuit against editor

(MISA/IFEX) - 14 June 2011 - William Tonet, the editor and owner of the weekly newspaper "Folha 8", appeared before an Angolan court on 13 June 2011, on charges of defamation and libel filed against him by three prominent army generals based in Luanda. The army generals are suing Tonet for an article his paper published in 2008.

The generals are: the chief of the President's civil house, widely acknowledged as the country's second most powerful man; the General Attorney of the military court; and a former chief of staff of the Angolan army. They all allege that an article the newspaper ran in 2008 contained false statements and affected their reputation and credibility.

The trial was scheduled to begin on 13 June, but was called off as Tonet's lawyer demanded the generals be present during the session. The case was then postponed to 15 June.

"We are confident that we will get a fair trial and that my client did not do anything else but wrote an article basing on facts," Tonet's lawyer told the media.

Tonet, who also owns the paper, has undergone a countless number of legal cases filed by other prominent figures of the government and the ruling party. However, this is the first time a group of them have united to file a joint lawsuit. Generals in Angola are widely seen as both financially and politically powerful people, and the effective rulers in Angola.

"Folha 8" is an independent paper and the most critical of the Angolan regime.

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