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Chronicle’s petition hearing postponed

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A lawyer representing the National Chronicle Newspaper shut down by the Government of Liberia after series of publications, says prosecutors have asked for time to review the amended version of a petition filed before the Supreme Court.

The Chronicle Newspaper was shut down last month after publishing a story about an alleged “interim government” plot, linking several personalities, including some officials of government and a group of Diaspora Liberians.

After appearing before a chamber justice on Wednesday, September 24, lead counsel Cyrenious Cephus, told reporters outside the Supreme Court at the Temple of Justice that both sides will reappear at 10am tomorrow, Friday.

Though he said the government had acknowledged receipt of the previous instrument filed in favor of the Chronicle’s publisher Mr. Phillibert Brown, prosecutors, however said they had not seen copies of the amended petition, which Cllr. Cephus says is “very bulky” and needs ample time to review.

Basically, he says in the petition, the defense is asking questions such as: which laws journalist Phillibert Brown violated; the alleged invasion of the publisher’s premises and by what authority did the government through the police closed down the newspaper.

Cllr. Cephus foresees that the case “might” go before the full bench of the Supreme Court, on grounds that there are so many constitutional issues raised. But even at the point of taking the matter before the Supreme Court, he claims there was no report from the police after days of investigating his client.

For his part, Press Union of Liberia President, Abdullah Kamara, said the police have not served the union a copy, but he has seen a copy that he says the police have not denied.

Mr. Kamara however, declined on speaking to what were the charges or content that he saw in the police report that may have prompted the closure of journalist Brown’s newspaper. He repeatedly insisted, however that “up to now, there is no claim against Mr. Brown.”

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