Correction: Mozambique-Facebook Defamation story

AP News
Posted: Sep 03, 2015 10:52 AM

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — In a story Aug. 31 about a defamation trial in Mozambique, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the defendants were found guilty. No verdict was passed by the judge, who said the verdict and sentence will be issued on Sept. 16. AP also erroneously reported that three were on trial. Only two were on trial.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Mozambique: Academic, journalist on trial for defamation

Mozambique: Academic and journalist on trial for defamation for 2013 Facebook post

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — A judge in Mozambique heard arguments in the case in which an academic and a journalist are charged with defamation over a Facebook post.

On Monday, Judge Joao Guilherme heard the prosecution and defense cases for economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, an associate professor at Eduardo Mondlane University, who is charged with defaming former President Armando Guebuza after he criticized the southern African leader in a 2013 Facebook post.

Journalist Fernando Mbanze is also charged with libel for republishing the commentary.

The judgment and sentence for both will be announced on September 16.

A statement from rights group Amnesty International said the trial was a tactic used by the Mozambican government to "stifle dissenting voices."

Mozambique's state news agency said the country's National Union of Journalists demanded the charges be dropped.

The agency reported that the men were tried under a sweeping state security law, which classifies defaming a president as a security offence.