Panellists and host jailed 4 months; station owners fined GHC 60,000

Ghana's Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced the three embattled contemnors in the Montie FM case to four months imprisonment.

In the court's ruling, the owners of the radio station were also found guilty of contempt and thus fined GHC 60,000. The ruling stipulated that the amount be paid to the court by close of Thursday, 28th July 2016.

In default, the owners would be subjected to a one month jail term.

Salifu Maase, the host of the show, and Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn panellists on the show who are loyalists of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) were all found guilty for issuing death threats to judges of the Supreme Court.

The sitting presided by Justice Sophia Akuffo also found the accused guilty of  "scandalizing the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court and bringing it into disrepute."

Earlier, one of the panellists blamed his comments in which he and another panellist threatened to kill the judges to a disease called “kpokpogbligbli.”

According to Alistair Nelson, “kpokpogbligbli is an unknown disease that takes over a person’s body and controls what he says and does."

He said this when he appeared before the Supreme Court to explain why he and others should not be “committed to prison for contempt of court, for scandalising the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court, and bringing the authority of the court into disrepute.”

The Supreme Court also played in open court, audiotapes which contained alleged threats issued by two radio pundits despite pleas from the counsel of the alleged contemnors for it not to be played.

The two panellists, Nelson and Gunn told the court they were responsible for the comments and expressed regret.

The host of the said programme, Mugabe, even though admitting that he was liable to the offence, said that he could give reasons for his conduct.

The court in a letter last had earlier asked the owners to explain why they should not be “committed to prison for contempt of court, for scandalising the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court, and bringing the authority of the court into disrepute.”

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