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Benin TV chief jailed for program slamming presidential palace

Thursday January 17 2013

By AFP

A Benin court on Wednesday jailed the director of a private television channel for airing a program in which a former government aid slammed the inner workings of the presidential palace, claiming it is plagued by corruption.

The court convicted Berthe Cakpossa of having committed an offence against President Thomas Boni Yayi by having aired the September program and sentenced her to three months imprisonment.

It also fined her a total of 500,000 CFA francs (762 euros).

In September, Cakpossa's Canal 3 broadcast a press conference in which Lionel Agbo -- a former spokesman of the president -- accused close collaborators of the president of corruption.

During the press conference, Agbo said that within the palace "there are men and women who have made (a) fortune; a small group of people have become millionaires." He also suggested that the president was aware of the alleged corruption.

Cakpossa, who did not appear at her trial, has two weeks to appeal the ruling.