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Cablegate: Court of Appeals Hears Arguments On Case of Moussa Kaka;

VZCZCXRO4076
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0964 2601433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161433Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4573
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0725

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000964

DEPT FOR AF/W, AF/RSA, AF/PD, AND DRL/AE
PLS PASS TO USAID FOR AFR/W

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KCOR KPAO NG
SUBJECT: Court of Appeals Hears Arguments on Case of Moussa Kaka;
Verdict Delayed until Oct. 7

REF: a) Niamey 00737, b) Niamey 00623

1. On September 16, the State Prosecutor asked the Court of Appeals
to permit a reclassification of the charges against jailed Nigerien
Radio France International (RFI) affiliate director Moussa Kaka from
"conspiracy against national security," which is subject to life
imprisonment, to committing an act "aiming to undermine national
defense," which is subject to a prison sentence of one to five
years.

2. Moussa Kaka's attorney challenged this request, arguing that the
charge could not be applied, as Niger is not in a state of war.
Instead, he claimed, Niger asserts it is fighting bandits (drug
traffickers and contraband smugglers) rather than rebels, thus its
operations in the North involve "maintaining public order." Kaka's
attorney advised the Court to avoid being "instrumentalized," and
concluded his statement by asking the Court to affirm the lower
court's finding (Ref A), dropping the charges against his client.


3. The Court of Appeals will render its verdict on October 7.

WHITAKER

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