Free Press Editor denies publishing libelous allegations against Asantehene
The Editor of the Free Press newspaper, Emma Lawson, has categorically denied publishing a story alleging that Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, influenced the Supreme Court judgement on the 2012 Election Petition by paying bribes.
She said people have wrongly assumed that her paper is the same as a certain New Free Press which published the libelous article.
The story which was written by a certain Alhaji Suraju Musah Mohamed was published on Ghanaweb on September 4, 2013 under the headlined Justice for sale(Part 1): Ghana’s supreme court judges collected bribes alleged, among other things, that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II influenced the August 29 judgement by the Supreme Court which dismissed the 2012 Presidential Election petition.
But speaking to Adom FM on Friday September 13, 2013 the Free Press Editor claimed her paper had no knowledge of the publication and the New Free Press until it became a topical issue in the media.
Following the publication on Ghanaweb, an online news portal, Kesben FM, a Kumasi based radio station, gave the libelous allegations a boost by discussing it on their morning show news review segment.
The Asantehene came out to condemn the publication describing it as ‘malicious’ and further petitioned the National Media Commission to bring the said New Free Press and the Kesben FM to book.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has since begun investigations into the allegations.
But the Emma Lawson says her offices have been inundated with security personnel trying to establish whether it was her paper that put out the information on Ghanaweb.
She indicated that Kesben FM and the security agencies should be looking for the Publishers of the New Free Press instead of assuming wrongly that her paper had rebranded.
She stressed her newspaper has no links with the New Free Press, which is purported to be an online portal.
Narrating events that have taken place in her office since the story broke, she told Adom FM morning show host, Captain Smart, that all her computers have been seized by the Police – noting that the incident was adversely affecting her work.
She added that the incident was tarnishing the image of her paper.
Kwaku Baako Jnr., Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper said on Newsfile on Saturday that because the “cloak of anonymity” with which the story was published, Asantehene should have ignored it altogether.
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