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Newspaper faces US$5 million lawsuit

(CEMESP/IFEX) - The Executive Mansion has announced a US$5 million libel suit against the "New Broom" newspaper in Monrovia.

Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Badio told reporters that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was taking action against the "New Broom" for reporting on "a story considered scandalous and maligning the chief executive."

Badio alleged that the "New Broom" publication accused President Sirleaf of taking bribes in exchange for awarding a contract to a company that wants to invest in the Liberian economy.

Article 61 of the Liberian constitution stipulates that the president is immune from any judicial action while in office.

CEMESP sees the amount of the damages sought by the lawsuit as threatening to freedom of expression, especially as the newspaper article in question is critical of a high official of government.

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