Post Courier On Trial For Contempt

Well-known media outlet Post Courier may pay up to K50, 000 in fines for publishing images of Asylum seekers at the Manus Asylum Centre.

On trial is senior court and police reporter Todagia Kelola who pleaded not guilty on the grounds that his duty statement does not dictate the layout of the newspaper.


Seasoned Journalist Todagia Kelola has been having sleepless nights since he was summoned to face court over charges of contempt.  Kelola reported on the Asylum Seekers in March, using pictures that were sensitive.


He was given an opportunity to address the court today.


He pointed out that it was an editorial team that decides on what stories and images are published and that he had sent a foot note for the editor to blur the images.


Kelola pleaded that a fine be imposed rather than a sentence because he does not have a criminal record.


A lawyer representing the Post Courier asked the court to be lenient with the penalty fee because it was not the system of the organization that brought about the contempt.


However, Justice Cannings pointed out that it was a system error on their part for not employing an experienced night editor.


The council assisting the Judge advised that a fine of K50, 000 be imposed instead of a sentence.


While the judge decides on the penalty, the case has been adjourned to the 10th of June.

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