Reporters Without Borders hails yesterday’s release of Rodrigo Angue Nguema, the Malabo correspondent of Agence France-Presse and Radio France Internationale, although a court is insisting that the two French news organisations pay 40 million CFA francs (61,000 euros) in connection with a defamation action that was brought against him.
“We welcome his release with a great deal of relief,” the press freedom organisation said. “It ends four months of injustice and allows the foreign media’s only correspondent in Equatorial Guinea to be reunited with his family and go back to work. But we think the sum demanded from AFP and RFI is exorbitant and unjustified.”
Nguema’s was released from Malabo’s Black Beach prison at about 3 p.m. yesterday. Reached by telephone, he told Reporters Without Borders he was in good health. He had been detained since 17 June, when the head of the national airline Ceiba, Mamadou Jaye, sued him over a mistaken report that Jaye had embezzled 3.5 billion CFA francs (5 million euros) and skipped the country in April.
The prosecutor’s office did not present criminal libel charges against Nguema when the case was heard by a Malabo court on 1 September.