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Lawmaker denies flogging Journalist

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By Bridgett Milton

Grand Bassa County district #4 Representative J. Byron Browne has denied beating Journalist Wremongar Joe of Prim FM, saying at no time he ever orders anybody to beat any journalist.

Rep. Browne said, for the past ten years he has been working in the Legislature no one has linked him to such act and wonders why now he will do it. However, he accused Journalist Joe of frequently insulting and maligning his character on social media.

But according to Journalist Wremongar Joe, on May 7, 2016 Rep. Browne allegedly ordered some individuals to beat on him. He said during the alleged attack, he lost US$ 540 and his smart phone was smashed.

Wremongar narrated that while video recording a fight between Rep. Browne and some youth of electoral district four during an inter-district football match at the Doris Williams Sports Stadium in Buchanan, he was attacked by three persons, including a man identified as Smith Peters, who claimed to be working for Representative Browne.

“Smith Peters and three other men engaged me aggressively;, beat on me and demanded me to unconditionally delete the photos and voice from my recorder, camera and phone,” he explained. “When I refused and told them that I am a journalist, they pressed on and held my private-part as Smith Peter put his hands in my pockets and collected my phone – Nokia Lumia 926, Olympus digital voice recorder and camera, including US$540 which was intended to survey my father’s land in Wee- statutory district.”

According to him, he has already reported the situation to the Press Union of Liberia and hopes the union will intervene, while considering legal action against Smith Peters, who he believes is in the employ of Rep. Browne.

“Hon. Browne did not physically attack me but just before the guys attacked me and took my phone from me and my money, I heard him say that they should do anything to anybody and he will pay because he’s a lawmaker.” Editing by Jonathan Browne

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