Journalist charged after refusing to reveal sources
ACCRA, July 24, 2010 (AFP) – A Ghanaian journalist has been charged with reporting false information after refusing to reveal his sources to police, the head of the country’s journalists association said Saturday.
Ato Kwamena Dadzie, acting editor of Joy FM radio, was charged following a story that said the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association withdrew its opposition to a housing deal after some of its members received death threats.
The 10-billion-dollar construction deal was between the government and a South Korean firm.
After the government denounced the story, police called on Dadzie to reveal his sources, but he refused, according to Bright Blewu, general secretary of the journalists association.
He was charged on Monday with publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public, said Blewu.
“The police invoked an old law, from 1960,” he said.
“The police asked him where he had got the information but… as a journalist, (he) didn’t want to say where he got the information.”
Dadzie was released after bail was set at 5,000 cedis (3,400 dollars, 2,600 euros).
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has already criticised the move, calling on prosecutors to dismiss the “outrageous criminal charge.
“The police should not intimidate a journalist into disclosing his sources,” the CPJ said in a statement.