Bar President Wins Lawsuit Against Late Tatsa’s Family

Tatsa Family at a press conference

Tatsa Family at a press conference

The family of late Jean Tatsa are to pay the sum of FCFA 235,000 each, and also serve a two-month prison term each, for defaming Cameroon Bar Council President, Barrister Sama Francis Asanga.

A Bamenda Magistrate Court ruled, September 24, that the four sons and a daughter of Jean Tatsa, a Bamenda business tycoon of blessed memory, are to pay the fines and serve the prison terms as penalty for defamation, abuse and prejudicial comment against Barrister Sama.

The verdict was handed down by the presiding judge Magistrate Francis Achu. According to the verdict, the accused persons are guilty of a three-count charge, leveled against them by the prosecuting counsel. In the first charge, the Tatsa family was found guilty of defamation, contrary to Section 305(1) of the Penal Code, while count three and four pinned them down for abuse and prejudicial comment, provided for and punishable under Sections 307(1) and 169 (1) of the Penal Code, respectively.

Going by the verdict, each convict was sentenced to serve a prison term of two months and pay an indemnity of FCFA 235,000 to the prosecutors. The court also demanded FCFA 15 million as damages to be awarded to the civil party. After the verdict of the court, bench warrants were immediately issued against all convicts with sentences expected to run concurrently. However, the State Counsel has appealed against the judgment, expressing dissatisfaction with the court’s decision.

The convicts have also tabled a similar appeal, while the lead prosecutor and civil party, Barrister Sama, has not commented on the ruling, stating only that “the law has taken its course.” The case opened on July 2, 2013, when Sama dragged the Tatsa family to court for lowering his honour and reputation in a press briefing hosted by the Tatsa family at Ayaba Hotel in Bamenda earlier on in May, 2013.

According to the civil claimant, the defendants, during the press briefing, circulated a document to various State officials, the media and members of the public, in which they tagged Sama, alongside Hilda Ndumu, Sheriff Bailiffs Joseph Fonyuy, Pierre Tchinda and the Mezam High Court President, Justice Anne Afong, as gangsters colluding and conniving to destroy and defraud the Tatsa Estates, for greedy ends.

CameroonPostline.com

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