Ivory Coast’s public prosecutor said on Thursday (15 July 2010) that three local journalists have been arrested and will be formally charged for allegedly stealing secret documents that were used in an article about corruption in the cocoa sector.
Public prosecutor Raymond Tchimou told news agency Reuters that the editor, managing editor and director of publications at Le Nouveau Courier were arrested on Tuesday. Tchimou said they can only be legally held for questioning for up to 48 hours but were expected to be charged without delay on Friday.
Le Nouveau Courier published the findings of a report into graft allegations against former officials from the Coffee and Cocoa Bourse. The journalists were arrested after refusing to reveal the source of the leaked document. Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders condemned the arrests.