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"National Chronicle" editor briefly detained, faces criminal complaint

(CEMESP/IFEX) - 13 January 2012 - For failing to secure a bail bond, the editor of the "National Chronicle", Edward Mortee, has been released after spending a couple hours in jail.

He was arrested, handcuffed and imprisoned at the Monrovia Central prison on 12 January 2012 in connection with a complaint made by the Chief of Highway Patrol of the Liberia National Police, Victor Gboyah.

The charge pressed against the newspaper management is criminal coercion under the Liberia penal code section 14.27.

The "National Chronicle" had published a story alleging that Gboyah was involved in the arrest of one Robert at the Hotel Africa suburb of Monrovia. Gboyah had denied the newspaper story and called for a retraction, something the "National Chronicle" failed to do.

The Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) has under its Media Legal Defense program offered legal assistance to the "National Chronicle".

The Monrovia City Court is expected to conduct further hearings on the alleged charge of criminal coercion levied against the journalist.

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