Togolese journalists Ferdinand Ayité and Isidore Kouwonou are tried by the Court of First Instance in Lomé this Wednesday, March 15, 2023 in the case between them and the public prosecutor. The media personalities will subsequently be sentenced by the courts.
The defendants accused of contempt of public order, insulting authority, among other things, were both absent at the trial this Wednesday.
The defendants not being present, their lawyer Me Elom Kpadé withdrew from the file.
However, journalists Ferdinand Ayité and Isidore Kouwonou were both sentenced to 36 months in prison with a fine of 3 million CFA francs (about 4800 US Dollars).
A few days ago, the Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ and other press freedom NGOs called on the Togolese authorities to end the lawsuit against these media men, but that has still not been successful.
The colleague Ferdinand Ayite, Editor of the newspaper L’alternative had been announced missing following his summons earlier of this month. The journalist who had already been locked up for some weeks at the end of 2021 with his co-accused, Joël Egah who died a few days after their release, finally chose the path of exile.
For the time being, no news on the third journalist Isidore Kouwonou also convicted.