Journalists Threatened At Cocaine Trial
JOURNALISTS WHO were at the Regional Tribunal to cover the case of the accused persons being tried in connection with the missing cocaine parcels aboard the MV Benjamin vessel, were nearly assaulted by friends and sympathisers of the suspects.
Not even the presence of a judge, who offered to escort the journalists out of the court premises could deter the angry relations, as they hurled invectives, and threatened to teach the journalists a bitter lesson.
It all started when this reporter tried to take pictures of the accused persons who were being escorted out of the courtroom. Friends and relations of the suspects, rushed on the reporter in the midst of her colleagues, demanding the immediate surrender of her camera.
Other reporters, sensing danger, quickly told the assailants that she was a reporter; but this did not seem to satisfy them, and in a violent fit of anger, they quickly surrounded the reporter, amidst threats to seize her camera.
One of the reporters then called for police protection but as there was none, only a court clerk arrived and helped her to seek refuge in an empty courtroom, in the company of the other reporters.
They spew out insults at the media, and even alleged that some of the reporters passed comments during the trial, and that they would teach them a lesson.
The aggrieved persons waited until the reporters came out, and while some were insulting the other reporters, one man, in his mid-forties, quickly rushed on this reporter.
It took the warning of a court clerk to keep him from assaulting her. Just then, a judge, discerning the danger the journalist were faced with, offered to walk them out of the court premises.
Some of the assailants yelled at the journalists and threatened to teach them a lesson at the next hearing.