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Niger28 July 2008

Prosecutor appeals against judge’s decision to drop charges against Moussa Kaka

Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns today’s decision by Niger’s public prosecutor to appeal against an investigating judge’s decision five days ago to dismiss the charges on which Radio Saraounia manager Moussa Kaka has been held since last September. The authorities would have had to free Kaka if the prosecutor had not filed his appeal.

“The government’s determination to keep Kaka in detention despite the judge’s decision to drop the case is very unfortunate,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Kaka has been held for 10 months for no good reason. It is high time this stopped and he was allowed to be reunited with his family.”

Today’s appeal by the prosecutor was filed several hours after the expiry of the deadline of three working days from when the judge issued his decision dismissing the charges against Kaka on 23 July. It was the same judge who, on 23 June, ordered Kaka’s provisional release, which was also immediately blocked by an appeal by the prosecutor.

The Niger correspondent of Radio France Internationale and Reporters Without Borders, Kaka was arrested in Niamey on 20 September 2007 on a charge “complicity in a conspiracy against state authority” for talking by phone with one of the leaders of the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ), a Tuareg rebel group based in the north of the country.

The authorities claim that these contacts were evidence that he was “conniving” with the rebels. The charge carries a possible life sentence.

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