Liberia: Supreme Court suspends justice minister

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Associated Press

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 13 at 8:04 AM

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's state radio says the Supreme Court has barred the justice minister from practicing law for six months over her decision to grant "compassionate release" to a journalist jailed last year in connection with a libel case.

Justice Minister Christiana Tah let Rodney Sieh, publisher of the independent newspaper FrontPageAfrica, out of jail for 30 days in October after Sieh was hospitalized with malaria. Critics said Sieh's release did not accord with Liberian law.

Sieh was jailed in August after failing to pay $1.5 million awarded to former Agriculture Minister Chris Toe. In 2010, Sieh's newspaper published allegations from the country's anti-corruption watchdog that Toe's ministry could not account for millions of dollars.

Toe withdrew his libel claim in November, not long after Sieh's "compassionate release" expired.

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