Sao Tome premier sues journalist for defamation

Sao Tome- Sao Tome and Principe (PANA) -- Sao Tome and Principe Prime Minister Maria das Neves has lodged a court case against Abel Veiga, a correspondent of the Portuguese Radio and Television (RTP)/Africa, accusing him of publicly insulting and defaming him, as well as abusing press freedom.
A reliable source told PANA in the Sao Tomean capital that Maria das Neves lodged the suit against the journalist after he filled a story alleging that three corrupt personalities served in the Sao Tomean government.
His story was based on an interview granted by Arlindo Ramos, one of the directors of the disbanded state security and information services, to the privately-owned bimonthly paper "O Parvo".
Arlindo Ramos alleged that the three top MLSTP-PSD officials were currently part of the executive.
He did not identify them by name.
According to the plaint, the journalist lifted the interview in order to discredit the Prime Minister and public works and infrastructure minister Antonio Quintas.
Arlindo Ramos and RTP/Africa were cited as the co-accused.
Maria das Neves prayed the public prosecutor's office to apply the required sentence against Arlindo Ramos, Abel Veiga and RTP/Africa.
The Prime Minister asked to be paid 300 million dobras (about 30 thousand euros) in damages.

20 november 2003 22:01:00

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