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Libyan president sues three newspapers

(MFWA/IFEX) - The Libyan President Colonel Mouammar Qadhafi has filed a suit against three Niamey-based independent weekly newspapers for allegedly publishing "false information" that could undermine his honour.

The newspapers are "L'Evènement", le "Canard Déchaîné" and "L'Action."

Under Nigerian press laws, the editors of the three newspapers, if convicted, could face prison sentences of up to three years and in addition pay damages ranging from 10,000 to 1 million CFA (approx. US$20 to US$2,000).

The writ filled by Colonel Qadhafi's lawyers is seeking an order by the tribunal to fine each of the newspapers 100 million CFA (approx. US$200,000) for defamation.

The newspapers, in several articles, accused the Libyan leader of providing financial and logistical support to the "Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice" (MNJ), an armed group operating in the northern part of Niger.

The hearing is fixed for 17 September 2007.

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