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Supreme Court rules to keep Moussa Kaka in jail

Article published on the 2008-05-15 Latest update 2008-09-18 11:40 TU

Moussa KakaDR

Moussa Kaka

Niger's Supreme Court on Thursday ruled on several points relating to the arrest and imprisonment of RFI correspondent Moussa Kaka. It ruled out temporary release pending trial, admitted the use of recorded phone conversations for the prosecution and declared that there had been no violation of Niger's constitution thus far.

As Moussa Kaka prepares to enter his eighth month in prison, Niger's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed several requests by his lawyers. Kaka's legal team had asked for provisional release from prison for RFI's correspondent who is also the manager of the private radio station Radio Saraounia.

The court also ruled that phone recordings between Kaka and the leader of Niger's Tuareg rebels, Aghali Alambo, could be accepted into the case. Kaka and his lawyer had requested the exclusion of this material as they had been carried out without authorisation and by an unidentified department.

The Reporters Without Borders press freedom campaign described the recordings as "proving nothing other than the fact that the journalist was under surveillance". The organisation again called for Moussa Kaka to be released and called the ruling by the court "an immense disappointment for those who respect the presumption of innocence".

Moussa Kaka was arrested 20 September 2007 and is currently in prison in Niamey.