Calixthe Beyala must now ensure Paul Chouta is released

Calixthe Beyala, the writer who had Paul Chouta arrested over a year ago has never attended a single court session.

After nine different adjournments, Cameroon journalist, Paul Chouta is yet to regain his freedom. He is jailed on defamation charges pressed against him by Calixthe Beyala.

His accuser, Calixthe Beyala during the last court session on Wednesday failed to make an appearance in court like in all previous instances.

“The judge said he will send a notification for the civil party,” the pressman’s counsel states.

Chouta has also been facing health challenges amid Covid-19 cases in prison

Chouta’s lawyer however made an oral appeal for his provisional release, a demand the judge said would come under consideration during the next session set for July 8, 2020.

The third court session on August 12, 2019 was adjourned to September 10, 2019 at the request of the complainant’s counsel who said she was unwell.

During the next hearing, Calixthe Beyala’s lawyer filed a request to merge the procedure with that of a lady named Ngo Hefa Mispa despite the objection of the accused pressman’s counsel.

The case would go on to witness several other adjournments, including being sent to the court of appeal after one party appealed against the ruling to merge Chouta’s case with that of another lady.

CPJ has insisted that Paul Chouta who is illegally being detained should be released

Most recently on June 10, 2020, the case was postponed to June 24, 2020 for failure to extract the accused and a summons of the civil party.

With the provisional release expected to be heard in the next court session come July 8, 2020, calls for a quick, free and fair trial of the journalist have fallen on deaf ears.

In addition to the several bottlenecks in the legal procedure, many believe the complainant is pulling other strings that have seen the accused journalist spend over a year in jail undergoing trial for a crime he would serve six months in jail for if found guilty.

(C) Mimi Mefo Info

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