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Court awards damages to newspaper, convicts 12 assailants

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 8 September 2008, a court in Dakar awarded an amount of 20 million FCFA (about US$43,187) as compensation to "L'As", a privately-owned Dakar-based newspaper, which was recently ransacked by individuals loyal to Minister of Aviation Farba Senghor.

The court also awarded 2 million FCFA (about US$4,318) as compensation to the newspaper's security man, who lost his cellular phone in the process.

MFWA's correspondent reported that the court's decision followed a complaint filed by the newspaper's management.

The court also gave twelve of the assailants jail-terms ranging from five to six years.

On 17 August, in two separate attacks, a group of men, who were allegedly acting on Senghor's orders, stormed the offices of "L'As" and the "24 Heures Chrono" newspaper. They forced their way into the office and destroyed computers and other equipment.

MFWA's correspondent said "24 Heures Chrono" failed to make a complaint.

Senghor was sacked by the government on 28 August, reportedly to facilitate investigations into the attack. He appeared before the state prosecutor on 1 September and his case will soon be brought before the High court in Dakar.

Updates alerts on the previous attacks against "L'As" and "24 Heures Chrono": http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96656

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