General News of Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, is asking for the immediate quashing of the charges preferred against Ato Kwamena Dadzie, Acting News Editor for JoyFM, by the police, since in his view the issue does warrant such an action.
Mr. Pratt argues that any attempt to prosecute the acting News Editor of JoyFM will amount to strangulation of free speech and a affront to press freedom.
Ato Kwamena Dadzie was granted bail by police after he was officially charged on Monday. He is due for court on Wednesday, July 21st. He has been charged under section 208 of the criminal code for false publication intended to cause fear and harm.
This follows his refusal to disclose source(s) of a news story aired on JoyFM a couple of days ago in which it was alleged that members of the Ghana Real Estate Development Agency (GREDA) received threatening text messages to back down on their opposition to a $10 billion housing project that government had entered into with Korea construction firm STX.
The police say their action is part of efforts to "protect life and property". According to DSP Ofori, the original intent of the police was not to arrest Ato Kwamena Dadzie, adding that the police have a duty to investigate the case and "protect life and property" as well as bring to book the "perpetrators of the [text] messages."
But contributing to a panel discussion on “Kokrokoo”, PeaceFM’s flagship programme, the outspoken social democrat pointed that it is unethical for a journalist to disclose his or her source of information for any reason.
“…Ato is doing the right thing…It’s an exercise in futility; it’s a bad practice to disclose the source of your information,” he stated.
The Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper urged the police to let Ato Kwamena Dadzie be.
“Leave Ato Kwamena Dadzie alone,” he said.
Source: Rebecca Quaye/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana