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Newspaper publisher receives suspended prison sentence, fine

(RSF/IFEX) - On 28 December 2009, a Yaoundé court sentenced newspaper publisher Jean-Bosco Talla to a suspended one-year jail term, three years of probation, a fine of 3 million CFA francs (approx. 4,500 euros) and court costs of 154,000 CFA francs (approx. 234 euros) on a charge of insulting the president.

Talla, who has been detained since 10 December, was taken back to Yaoundé's Kondengui prison after the hearing pending payment of the fine and costs. His lawyer, Jean-Marie Nouga, said he intended to appeal.

"The sentence is a relief inasmuch as Talla will not have to spend months in prison but he will have to live with a permanent threat that will force him to censor himself," said Reporters Without Borders, which urges the Cameroonian authorities to fully decriminalise press offenses. "We hope that payment of the fine will allow him to be freed without delay."
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