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Newspaper editor, founder released on bail

(MFWA/IFEX) - Ibrahim Souley and Soumana Idrissa Maiga, managing editor and founder respectively of the bi-monthly "L'Enquêteur", were arrested by the Niamey Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and held for 72 hours following a libel complaint filed against them by Ali Lamine Zeine, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that Souley was first arrested and questioned by the CID for over 30 minutes on 29 November 2007. He was rearrested on 4 December while Maiga was arrested on 5 December.

Another journalist, Salif Dago, was also questioned by police on the afternoon of 5 December.

Both Souley and Maiga were held at the CID head office in Niamey before appearing before the State Prosecutor at the Niamey Special Magistrates' Court on 7 December. They were released on bail but will appear before a judge in due course.

The MFWA correspondent said "L'Enquêteur" published a series of articles in its 19 November issue in which it made reference to certain acts of mismanagement at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Unhappy with the contents of the articles, Finance Minister Zeine filed a complaint against the newspaper.

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