Court discharges 3 journalists over alleged ‘stealing’

Three journalists charged with alleged stealing and unauthorised access to electronic records were yesterday, discharged by an Accra High Court.

They are Emmanuel Adjafor Abugri, Modern Ghana Editor, Emmanuel Obeng Manu, an editor of Peacefm and Emmanuel Britwum, a reporter of Modern Ghana.

Mr Abugri and Britwum were picked up by National Security operatives on Thursday, June 28, 2019 for alleged cybercrime involving the hacking into the emails and servers of popular competing websites and newsrooms.

  At proceedings yesterday, Mrs Stella Ohene Appiah, a senior state attorney, prosecuting, told the court presided by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe that the state does not intend to proceed with the case at this stage.

She said a new development came up and that the state needed to put its house in order before she can proceed.

Counsel for Abugri, Mr Sampson Lardi Ayenini said the decision by the state to discontinue prosecution was a confirmation of his client’s innocence.

Mr Abugri, who was arrested by the National Security operatives last week, says electric shock and other forms of pain were inflicted on him during his detention.

He told journalists on Monday that he was slapped and beaten up by the security operatives for giving unimpressive answers during interrogation.

Mr Abugri insisted that his arrest was over some articles the portal published about the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, and Member of Parliament for Effutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin.

After more than 24 hours of detention in an undisclosed location, which attracted condemnation and call for their release by a section of the media and allied associations, Abugri and Britwum were granted bail at different times on July 2 and 3 respectively.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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