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Foreign Affairs Minister sues AfricaWatch magazine for defamation

The Commercial Division of the Accra High Court presided over Justice Samuel Asiedu has granted leave for lawyers of Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional integration to serve Africawatch Magazine and its editor for a defamation suit.

AfricaWatch in its June edition carried a story with the headline, Conspiracy to steal, Ayorkor Botchwey’s lies exposed Nana Akufo-Addo’s defense falls flat, a publication alleging corruption in the purchase of Oslo chancery by government.

The Magazine in its June edition alleges a calculated scheme by the minister to fleece the Ghanaian taxpayer, accusing the president of covering up the crime by not investigating the scandal.

In an exparte motion moved by Garry Nimako lawyer for the Member of Parliament for Anyaa-Sowutuom, the court granted that, the defendants (African Watch and Steve Mallory, its editor) be served with the writ and its attachments through their e-mail address.

The court further directed that the defendant from the date of service have 14 days to enter appearance and issue their statement of case.

Garry Nimako counsel for the plaintiff said the Minister is on official assignment hence her absence in court.

He said the motion exparte was to seek leave of the court to issue and serve notice and writ of surmons out of the jurisdiction on the defendants, (General Media Strategies, publishers of the African Watch Magazine and Steve Mallory, its editor) who are both residents of the United States of America.

While relying on all exhibits and attachments, counsel prayed for leave to be granted so that the defendants would be served through their address.

He said the 29 paragraph affidavit means a genuine case has been made to sue the defendant for defamation of character.

The motion was however granted.

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