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Woman acquitted of practicing journalism without accreditation

(MISA/IFEX) - Sixty-year old Margaret Ann Kriel who had been arrested in Bulawayo on 10 April 2008 on allegations of practicing journalism without proper accreditation was on 18 September 2008 acquitted of the offence at the close of the State case.

Kriel was accused of having gone around Bulawayo with two other people covering political rallies in the run-up to the 29 March 2008 elections without proper accreditation and pretending that they were journalists when they were not.

Acquitting Kriel, Bulawayo magistrate Singandu Jele said the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the accused.

Kriel pleaded not guilty to contravening Section 33 (1) of the Postal and Telecommunications Act which deals with working, possessing or being in control of broadcasting equipment without a licence.

She denied being in possession of or working with the BGAN satellite communication terminal station. The State alleged that they interviewed David Coltart of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara (MDC-M), Thokozani Khupe of the MDC-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and members of the public on the outcome of the elections.

Updates the Kriel case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92616

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