LIBERIA: Supreme Court Reserves Ruling On Writ Of Prohibition Against Govt.

The Supreme Court of Liberia Thursday reserved ruling in the Writ of Prohibition filed against the Government of Liberia on September 18, 2014 over the closure of the National Chronicle newspaper.
 
Government lawyers from the Ministry of Justice and lawyers representing the newspaper presented their arguments before four Supreme Court Justices, including the Chief Justice.  
 
Presenting the government’s case, Solicitor General Cllr. Betty Blamo said the court should deny and dismiss the Writ of Prohibition and uphold the government’s action to close the paper.
 
Cllr. Blamo argued that the action was prompted by a story the paper published last year under the headline: “Interim Government to Be Formed in America.”
 
In his counter-argument, defense lawyer Syrenius Cephus said the government’s action had no legal foundation and requested the court to grant the Writ of Prohibition with all benefits to operate restored to the newspaper.
 
It can be recalled that the Liberia National Police moved into the offices of the Chronicle newspaper and shut it down on August 14, 2014.
 
In a letter to the newspaper’s management on August 16, 2014, the Ministry of Information said government’s action was prompted by the many publications by the Chronicle newspaper that border on national security.  
 
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has said ruling in the arguments by both government and defense lawyers will be announced at an unspecified date.

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