19 September 2008
Prosecution seeks change of charge against detained journalist Moussa Kaka
(MFWA/IFEX) - On 16 September 2008, the Director of Public Prosecution at the Niamey Appeals Court requested that the charge of "complicity in undermining the authority of the state", for which Moussa Kaka, has been detained for a year be substituted with "acts likely to undermine the security of the state."
Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the journalist will remain in prison until 7 October, when the case is expected to resume.
However, Kaka's lawyers rejected the new charge on the grounds that such an amendment would hold only in "times of war" arguing further that the authorities have consistently dismissed the rebellions in the northern part of the country as "acts of organised crime on the part of criminals and drug traffickers" and not a war situation.
On 23 July, a supervising magistrate court ruled that Kaka has no case to answer on the charge that had been preferred against him. Despite this ruling the journalist was not granted bail.
The state subsequently brought an appeal against the magistrate court's decision.
Kaka was arrested on 20 September 2007 following his contacts with the Niger Peoples' Movement for Justice (MNJ), a rebel movement that was established in Northern Niger in February, 2007.