Court denies granting bail to detained journalist in Niger

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Niger’s Court of Appeal in Niamey has denied granting ba il to a detained journalist, Moussa Kaka, a sub-regional media freedom watchdog, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), disclosed Wednesday. Mr. Kaka, Radio France International (RFI) correspondent and manager of Saraouni a FM, a privately-owned radio station in Niamey, is being detained for his alleged “involvement in a plot against state’s authority”. According to MFWA, the decision of the court followed a request for the journalist’s release by his counsel, Moussa Coulibaly. The court also ruled that another judge should be appointed to continue with the case. Meanwhile, in February 2007, the Nigerien authorities claimed to have intercepted a telephone conversation between Kaka and Aghali Alambo, the head of Niger People’s Movement for Justice (MNJ), a body linked to armed rebellion in northern Niger. However, a Niamey magistrate 13 November, 2007, ruled that “the obtaining of the tapes containing the journalist’s conversations and their transcriptions are not acceptable in law and constitute a violation of the rights of the accused.” The government prosecutor then appealed against the ruling.

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