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AFP and RFI correspondent released from prison

(JED/ IFEX) – JED has expressed satisfaction over the release of journalist Rodrigo Angue Nguema, the Malabo-based correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Radio France Internationale (RFI) in Equatorial Guinea. Nguema was released on 15 October 2009 after spending nearly four months at Malabo's Black Beach prison, where he was detained for libeling the director of national airliner CEIBA Intercontinental, Mamadou Jaye.

Nguema was released after a Malabo appeal court found no evidence of wrongdoing on his part. RFI and AFP, however, were ordered to pay 40 million FCFA (approx. US$85,000) in damages to Jaye for libel and slander.

A Malabo prosecutor summoned Nguema in April 2009 after a report he prepared containing damaging allegations about the CEIBA director general was broadcast on RFI and published by AFP.

According to a CEIBA Intercontinental source cited by Nguema, Jaye had fled the country some time between late February and early March 2009 with $3.5 billion FCFA (approx. US$7 million). The source later admitted to Nguema that she had read the information on the Internet. Following her admission - and on Nguema's initiative - RFI and AFP both published and broadcast retractions as well as Jaye's response to the allegations.

Jaye, however, had demanded $3.5 billion FCFA in compensation from the journalist and the two media outlets, claiming he had been wronged.
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