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Cablegate: Change in Charges Against Daily News Journalists

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

170909Z Aug 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTO4248

PAGE 01 HARARE 02439 170912Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00 UTED-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 VCE-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00
SS-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/002W
------------------13518B 170913Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9489
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002439

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S (KRAFT), AF (BELLAMY), AF/PD (SANDERS,
ROBERTSON, COX)

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL ZI PHUM
SUBJECT: CHANGE IN CHARGES AGAINST DAILY NEWS JOURNALISTS


UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02439 170912Z
1. THE CHARGES AGAINST THE FOUR JOURNALISTS FROM THE
INDEPENDENT "DAILY NEWS" WERE CHANGED LATE ON AUGUST 16.
THE FOUR JOURNALISTS (EDITOR GEOFF NYAROTA, DEPUTY EDITOR
BILL SAIDI, NEWS EDITOR JOHN GAMBANGA AND REPORTER SAM
MUNYAVI) ARE NOW CHARGED WITH "DISTRIBUTION OR CIRCULATION
OF A SUBVERSIVE STATEMENT," A VIOLATION OF SECTION 44
(2)(B) OF THE LAW AND ORDER MAINTENANCE ACT (LOMA).

2. THE FOUR WERE ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH PUBLISHING A
REPORT THAT COULD CAUSE "FEAR, ALARM OR DESPONDENCY AMONG
THE PUBLIC," A VIOLATION OF SECTION 50 (2)(A) OF THE LOMA.
THAT CHARGED WAS DROPPED WHEN POLICE REALIZED THAT THE
ZIMBABWEAN SUPREME COURT HAD DECLARED SECTION 50
UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN 2000. THE FOUR WERE THEN CHARGED WITH
CRIMINAL DEFAMATION OF THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE. THAT
CHARGE WAS DROPPED WHEN THE JOURNALISTS' LAWYER MADE THE
CASE THAT ONLY INDIVIDUALS, NOT INSTITUTIONS, CAN LEGALLY
BE DEFAMED.

3. THE FOUR JOURNALISTS REMAIN FREE ON PERSONAL
RECOGNIZANCE. NO COURT DATE HAS BEEN SET.

WHITEHEAD

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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