High court judge, Justice Nicolas Brown Marke has fined the managing editor of the Independent Observer Newspaper, Jonathan Leigh for contempt of court, the sum of Le 2.5million or go to jail.
Justice Brown Marke ruled yesterday against the journalist that he went against the court order of February 20, 2008 which restrained the journalist from publishing any story concerning transport and communications minister, Kemoh Sesay.
Lawyer representing the minister, Yada Williams argued in court that since the matter constituted contempt and a restraining order, the presiding judge should hand a jail sentence on the journalist.
Justice Brown Marke though ordered a fine to be paid in twenty four hours or the journalist goes to jail.
Jonathan Leigh immediately after the sentence deposited a million leones.
Lawyer Yada Williams had filed a civil matter at the high court against the journalist where he alleged Jonathan Leigh had libeled his client in a story published in his newspaper.
The story in question which was published after the court ruled that the journalist went against the court order was titled; FALSE DECLARATION, HIGH COURT ASKED TO DISMISS KEMOH SESAY’S CLAIM. In that story the journalist published an affidavit in opposition to an affidavit filed by the minister where he declared that he had instructed his lawyer on December 12, 2003 to take action against the journalist.
The affidavit sworn to by the journalist stated that at the date of the published story ,Kemoh Sesay was not a minister and no matter of such was in court claiming further that he must have been a clairvoyant to have foreseen in 2003 that an action will be taken against him in 2008. Notwithstanding that, the matter is still at the high court on a civil suit and at the magistrate court on a criminal charge.
By Ishmael Bayoh