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Verdict due in case of RFI reporter accused of helping Boko Haram

© RFI | Ahmed Abba has denied the allegations of complicity with the Nigeria-based Islamist group.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-04-20

A verdict is due Thursday in the trial by military court of Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalist Ahmed Abba, who is accused of complicity with Boko Haram. Cameroonian prosecutors have requested the death penalty.

Abba, a reporter for the Hausa-language service at RFI, FRANCE 24’s sister radio station, faces charges of failing to report acts of terrorism, condoning terrorism, and concealing information in connection with his coverage of attacks by the Nigeria-based terrorist group.

He has been held in detention since his arrest in July 2015 in Maroua, in Cameroon’s Far North region, where Boko Haram militants have carried out murderous raids.

The Cameroonian reporter, who says he was tortured by his jailors, has strenuously denied the allegations. His lawyers have asked the military court in the capital, Yaoundé, to clear him of all charges.

In a statement published on its website, RFI said the prosecution had failed to produce any evidence incriminating Abba. It noted that under Cameroonian law, prosecutors are barred from requesting a sentence until the defendant is found guilty.

RFI said it expected April 20 “will be the day that Ahmed Abba’s innocence is recognized and will be the last day of his ordeal, because 628 days in detention is definitely too many for an innocent man.”

Cameroon introduced capital punishment for involvement in terror attacks or complicity in terrorism in a controversial law passed in 2014.
 

Date created : 2017-04-20

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