An Accra High Court has given The Multimedia Group the green light to broadcast a documentary detailing pervasive theft of cocoa beans.
This follows the court’s dismissal of an application for injunction filed by licensed Cocoa Buyers Association of Ghana.
The documentary ‘Missing Kilos’ is an investigation by Joy News’ investigative journalist Kwetey Nartey which was due for broadcast in February 2018.
But running to court, the cocoa buyers described the documentary as “containing unfair and unverified allegations of crime made against the companies”.
They asked that the court awards them a cost one million cedis and a restraining against The Multimedia Group airing the documentary.
Justice Anthony Yeboah in his ruling said blocking the airing of the documentary will amount to a pre-emptive censorship of unknown material.
He held that the association can be adequately compensated if it wins the substantive defamation case.
Lawyer for The Multimedia Group, Samson Lardy Anyenini, expressed delight over the decision, urging Joy News to immediately broadcast the documentary.
The documentary shows an instance where a 70kg bag of cocoa weighed variously at 56kg, 61kg, and 64kg because of fraudulent adjustment of scales.
Samson Lardy Anyenini said even COCOBOD has decried the stealing of cocoa beans and the investigative journalist has simply found evidence useful to the public.
He said the suit by the Cocoa Buyers Association of Ghana was a strategic way to stop Joy News from bringing out information the public needs to know.
The court is meanwhile expected to deliver its ruling on an application by The Multimedia Group asking that it dismisses the defamation case on June 28, 2018.