General News of Monday, 31 May 1999
Accra (Greater Accra), 31st May 99 -
An Accra High Court has awarded 40 million cedis in general damages to Mr Edward Salia, Minister Roads and Transport, in a case he brought against the Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper.
Mr Salia who was represented by Mr Ambrose Dery of Dery, Bimi and Company, filed a writ of summons against the Chronicle claiming general damages for libel in an article titled "The vetting begins: Minister in Bribery scandal" published in the February 24, 1997 issue of the paper.
A statement issued from the Ministry of Communications said Mr S.T. Farkye, the Presiding Judge in his ruling, said "any ordinary person after reading the article will come to the conclusion that Mr Salia had taken a bribe. The Judge dismissed Chronicle's argument that it had given prominence to both sides of the story on the bribery allegation."
The statement said the court concluded that "the story had damaged the reputation of Mr Salia and accordingly awarded 40 million cedis general damages and two million cedis costs against the Ghanaian Chronicle."
The damages awarded to Mr Salia marks the highest award made in respect of a case of libel brought against any newspaper.