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General News of Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Arrest editors of Catalyst and Alhajj newspapers - Dabboussi's Lawyer

Hassan Tampuli, Layer representing Fadi Dabboussi play videoHassan Tampuli, Layer representing Fadi Dabboussi

Lawyer for Fadi Dabbousi, the Ghanaian-Lebanese author and pilot, detained by the Bureau of National investigations (BNI) over his ''59 Years to Nowhere'' book which criticises President Mahama's government, has chided the institution over their power play.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporter was arrested by the BNI on midday Friday upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport.

Although BNI did not release a statement to state reasons for his arrest, sources say, his offensive statements against the President through his publications prompted the arrest.

The case has assumed International dimension as it was discussed on BBC.

His Lawyer, Hassan Tampuli in an interview with Rainbow Radio's Kwame Tutu said, the BNI breached the fundamental human rights of his client.

According to him, his client was not charged for any offence despite the unlawful detension.

He said, under normal circumstance when a formal complaint is lodged against you at the police station, or the BNI or other security agency, you are made to write a caution statement and if the security agency intend to proceed to court after investigations, they will make you write the charge statement adding that, ''on this occassion, Fadi was not made to write either a caution statement or a charge statement. What he gave the BNI was a non-caution statement.''

He added, a non-caution statement in essence is nothing. Its just a letter he wrote to them to indicate that he was in their custody.''

Lawyer Hassan stressed that there was no charged preferred against his client and he has spoken to him noting that, the client is in high spirit.

''He was not shaken at all. He was very convince that the articles that he wrote were matters which he thought were truthful and were matters he had himself sourced from other newspapers.''

He explained, his client saw the stories he wrote from newspapers and so if there were people to be arrested by the BNI, then it should be the editors of those newspapers he sourced his information from.

''Fadi sourced his information from the Catalyst newspaper and from the AlHajj newspaper. Now if Fadi had to BE invited to the BNI to speak to matters like that, then i beleieve it will be in order to have the editors of those newspapers accompanying him. So the fact that those other people were no invited, in a way, will suggest that this something that has to do with politics.''

Fadi in Chapter 12 of his book described President Mahama's led administration as a ''YoYo Government with ''illiterate scholars'' managing the affairs of state. Responding to that, lawyer Hassan Tampuli said, ''what will constitute too much is a matter that will be subjective. I'm not in the position to judge the comments that he made.

But what i do know is that, in a democratic state, all of us cannot wake up and praise singing the government or the president or his ministers. Definitely, some will be critical of the government and the president and some will be doing the praise singing.''

The lawyer challenged those who thinks that Fadi's publications are critical, malicious and false, to court and seek a rejoinder.

''If anybody thinks he has been defamed, he has a recourse to the law court. As it is right now, in the absence of those things, i think that basicaally what we'll be doing will amount to nothing. He revealed that, they will take the necessary logical steps regarding the matter and communicate it to the media at the appropriate time.

He further revealed that, BNI has returned Fadi's books seized from residence after his arrest.

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