Dennis Smith

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) broadcaster Dennis Smith; SLBS director George; SLBS newscaster Mensah; SLBS newscaster Swaray; and We Yone reporter William Smith, appeared in Magistrate Court Number One, presided over by Judge Claudia Taylor. The case was postponed until April 6 because all the defendants were not in court. On April 14, Kargbo, managing editor of the newspaper Citizen, and File, owner and managing director of WBIG-FM103 and a former British Broadcasting Corporation Network Africa correspondent, were charged with treason in the Magistrate’s Court.
On August 23, File, George, Dennis Smith, Mensah, and Kargbo, along with 11 other Sierra Leonean citizens, were found guilty of treason for collaborating with the ousted Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) junta. On August 24, after a four-month trial, Justice Redmond Cowan sentenced the five journalists to death by hanging. The journalists have appealed the sentences. At year’s end, Swaray and William Smith were still awaiting sentencing.