'This is a misdemeanour, Shatta Wale could be jailed 3 years if convicted' - Lawyer

Shatta Wale could be handed a three-year maximum jail term if convicted by a court.

Shatta Wale in handcuff

A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong, explains that charges of publication of false news and causing fear and panic are tantamount to a misdemeanour that attracts more lenient sanctions as compared to a felony.

According to him, Shatta Wale, therefore, may be cautioned or fined and released if the judge is to pronounce a more lenient punishment for him on the charges brought against him by the police.

Shatta Wale and three others were arrested after faking reports that he has been shot rushed to an emergency ward. However, the police followed the reports and realized the dancehall act was never admitted to any hospital in Accra.

He later came out to confirm that he staged the report and claims he did so because a pastor prophesied that he will be shot on that same day.

Lawyer Yaw Oppong speaking on the case on Citi TV’s Point of View noted that “this is a misdemeanour… A felony is a very serious offence and normally the punishment goes beyond 10 years, but a misdemeanour can be a caution and barely up to three years imprisonment".

"Normally the maximum punishment is about 3 years. It could also be a caution, and it could even be a fine,” he added.

Detailing the conditions under which the 'Hajia Bintu' singer could be convicted, Yaw Oppong said 'the laws against the publication of fake news stipulates that the accused person must have first been aware or should have been aware that the information published was false.

He continued that “it should cause fear and alarm to the public. The publication must be false and also the person making the publication ought to have known, or had reason to believe, that the statement or rumour or the report is false.”

Shatta Wale with his two associates are expected to make his first court appearance today, Thursday, October 21, 2021, to answer the charges levelled against them.

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