Supreme Court jails Montie FM trio

PrisonThe Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced the two radio panelists and the host of a talk programme ‘Pampaso’ on an Accra based radio station Montie Fm  to four months imprisonment each.

The three convicts were also asked to pay a fine of GH¢10,000 each or in default serve another one month imprisonment.

The court also fined four directors, including Ato Ahwoi, Harry Zakour, Edward Addo and Kwesi Kyei Atuah the owners of Networking Broadcasting Company Limited and Zeze media GH¢30,000 each.

They are to pay the fine by close of Thursday 28th July 2016.

The court”s judgement was handed down when it found the Repondents guilty for contempt as their actions has scandalised the court, defiled and lowered its authority brought it into disrepute.

The five-member panel presided over by Justices Sophia Akufo also ordered the owners and directors to make available measures and policies they have put in place to prevent such inflammatory and contemptuous comments in future.

Mrs Akufo  said there was an element of criminality in the comments made by the convicts of which the Attorney-General should have noticed and acted upon.

She said the convicts also callously reminded the justices of the gruesome murder of their three High Court judges, adding that, for sometime now the judiciary has been attacked inspite of four politicians being punished by the court in 2013.

She said the court deserved the utmost respect, if the democracy of the country was to be safeguarded; indicating that any conduct by anybody that seeks to interfere with judiciary was an act against the community.

She said even the President cannot interfere with the judiciary in the dispensation of justice as its independence was guarantee under the constitution

Mrs Akufo said the directors of the station acted irresponsibly and carelessly since as board members they direct the broad vision of the station but seem not interested in what is aired on the station as manifested in their submission to the court

She cautioned media owners and practitioners not to allow their platforms to be used for such unguided utterances.

She acknowledged the contribution and important role of the media in the country’s democratic dispensation, calling on the media to be circumspect in their reportage to prevent peddling falsehood.

Earlier, Ato Ahwoi, the owner of the radio station, who was out of the country when the case went to court also pleaded liable with explanation.

He said the radio station was not set up to malign justices or any individuals but “it was unfortunate in this case our station had been used for things that are unacceptable and unmeritorious.”

At the last adjourned date, where the sentencing was deferred to today, the defendants had pleaded liable for the charges and asked the court for mercy.

The court granted them self-recognizance bail.

The two panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, threatened to “finish” the Supreme Court judges if they made any judgment against the Electoral Commission in a court case challenging the validity of the voters’ register, whilst the host of the programme Salifu Maase also known as ‘Mugabe’ was alleged to have urged the panelist on in their attacks on the justices.

Source: GNA

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