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In the Jonathan Leigh & Co libel case:

Defence lawyer wants charges deleted

By Hassan G. Koroma

Defence counsel in the ongoing libel case involving the Managing Editor and Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay respectively, yesterday made an application before Justice Abdulai Cham of the High Court for some of the charges against his clients to be deleted.

In his submission, lawyer Ansu Lansana urged the court to delete count 19, which has to do with printing, and count 20 which deals with seditious libel. He argued that the two journalists should not have been charged with count 20 after already being charged with count 19.

He said counts 22, 23 and 24 are bad in law because the nature of the publication, which means importing in the nature of the matter, is obsolete.

In his reply, Hon. Manley Spaine noted that the defence counsel was “putting the cart before the horse” with regards counts 19 and 20, arguing that such is not stated by any rule of law.

Mr. Leigh and Mr. Sesay were charged with seditious libel, among others, for publishing an article alleged to have dragged the name of the President into disrepute.