The Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Justice, Frederick Carew, said Monday during the trial of the editor of “Standard Times,” Phillip Neville, that the newspaper should publish a retraction of the allegedly offending Libyan donated rice story and the State would reconsider the charges against him.
Arguing before Magistrate Bankole Shyllon of Court No. 3 on why the editor should not be granted bail, the AG stated that “if he must retract the story under oath and confesses that it was not Gaddafi that spoke of what he gave to Sierra Leone, but rather President Kabbah, the state might reconsider the matter.”
Neville’s lead counsel JB Jenkins Johnston replied that it will be highly considered between the accused and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists.
The case was adjourned to July 7.
The Standard Times editor was on June 28 detained for an article published the previous day titled “Bombshell! Gadaffi Exposes Kabbah.”
He was charged with two counts for false publication to injure the credit of President Kabbah and the Government of Sierra Leone.
Charged under the 1965 public order act, Philip Neville was granted bail in the sum of 200 million Leones and three sureties. He was also ordered by the court to surrender all traveling documents not issued by the government of Sierra Leone.