Lohé Issa Konaté

Beats Covered:
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Konaté, editor of the private weekly L’Ouragan, was taken into custody after a judge in the capital, Ouagadougou, sentenced him to one year in prison on criminal charges of defaming state prosecutor Placide Nikiéma, news reports said.

Nikiéma filed a complaint in response to August articles alleging the prosecutor’s office mishandled a counterfeiting case and an inheritance dispute. Nikiéma denied the allegations, news reports said.

Konaté was also fined 1.5 million CFA francs (US$2,900) and ordered to pay damages of 4 million CFA francs (US$7,800) to the plaintiff. The judge also banned L’Ouragan from circulation for six months. Defense lawyer Halidou Ouédraogo said an appeal would be filed, news reports said, but Konaté was imprisoned after the sentencing.

The judge convicted Roland Ouédraogo, a contributor to L’Ouragan, in connection with the coverage and issued a warrant for his arrest, according to local journalists. The judge imposed the same sentence against Ouédraogo, who was still at large in late year. Konaté was held at Maison d’Arrêt et de Correction de Ouagadougou.