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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Standard urges court to refuse Melville’s request

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By Binta A Bah

The Standard Newspaper and its former court reporter Aisha Tamba have filed an affidavit in opposition, denying that the paper’s report on Melville Robert’s child appeal case detailed the substance of the appeal that could reasonably lead to the identification of the child that was the subject of the matter in a custody issue.

The affidavit filed by the paper’s lawyer, Abdoulie Fatty, states that the report “Melville appeals after losing custody of his child” did not cause any harm as alleged by Melville as the story did not contain personal details of the child’s name, age or the mother’s name.

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Melville Roberts is seeking for an order for The Standard Newspaper and its former reporter Aisha Tamba to face contempt of court proceeding in connection with a report on an appeal case he launched more than a year ago.

However, the affidavits in opposition which were served to Melville’s lawyer when the case resumed yesterday at Bundung High Court, stated: “The publication was in line with professional and ethical standards and obligation. The publication was neither in conflict with the law nor the sanctity of the honorable court. The reporter worked mainly as a court reporter. She wrote a story which the editor for the 1st contemnor edited and the editor went to great length to make sure that the publication did not reveal the identity of the child, or his or her mother, mainly to safeguard the identity of the child.”

The contemnors also said that the application to hold them contempt of proceedings lacks merits and urged the court to refuse it as there is no solid evidence presented by Melville’s lawyer that the publication caused damaged as alleged.

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The case has been adjourned for adoption of briefs. Both parties are expected to file their briefs of argument. Melville’s lawyer was given time to reply to The Standard and its reporter’s lawyer.

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