The ban on Tribune
d'Afrique, a private bimonthly based in
The judge also ordered the newspaper to pay 60 million CFA francs (US$113,000) to Gnassingbé and slapped Togo-based Editor Aurel Kedoté, reporter Cudjoe Amekudzi and Chief Executive Officer Marlène de la Bardonnie with fines of 2 million CFA francs (US$3,800) each, Atsoo said. The defense would appeal the verdict Atsoo said, adding that the newspaper did not have a lawyer during the trial and was not able to present a defense.
"We condemn this harsh ruling against Tribune d'Afrique as an act of censorship on critical reporting,"
said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator
Gnassingbé sued the newspaper in May after it published the first of a three-part investigative series, titled "The white powder darkening presidential palaces: Drug trafficking at the top of the state. Mey Gnassingbé fingered," according to the paper's publisher, Max Carmel. Gnassingbé denied the allegations in a May interview with the paper.
Launched in 2005, Tribune
d'Afrique is sold and distributed in seven West African countries,