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Mauritius Media at a Glance : 8 July 2007

08.07.2007

Read in today's Week-End newspaper: " Liyakhat Polin veut faire des revelations sur Cehl Meeah". The article describes in detail the content of a letter that L.Polin has drafted in his prison cell, and addressed to PS Raddhoa, but which is still being held by the prison authorities. So most readers could rightly be surprised that the Week-End newspaper should be so well informed as to know the actual content of a letter in the safe keeping of the prison authorities, and not yet received by the police officer to whom the letter is addressed. The supposed "role de Cehl Meeah dans certaines affaires" is summarised in the Week-End article by the following sentence: "Dans cette Prisoner's Letter, l'auteur fait brievement etat de son intention de faire des revelations au sujet de son ancien camarade de l'Escadron de la Mort, qui avait ete demantele a la fin de l'an 2000."


But perhaps we should not allow ourselves to be over-impressed by the investigative capacities of the Week-End journalist, considering that Jean-Claude Dedans of the L'Hebdo paper seems to have managed to get an actual copy of L.Polin's letter addressed to PS Raddhoa but which is at present still with the prison authorities.
Surely he must have a copy, otherwise how would he be able to quote verbatim long extracts from the letter: "Dear Mr. Raddhoa, I am writing to you to tell you that I have some revelations to make. The subject is of utmost importance regarding some matters that have arrived in this country. I want only you for my confessions on some tragic things that we lived. I need to reveal some misfortunes in which I participated with the help of others and with somebody's orders."


Clearly Mr. L.Polin must have read about the unreserved (and unsollicited!) advice of Cehl Meeah's british QC lawyer Nicholas Cook who warmly recommended PS Raddhoa for all future revelations and confessions.

We sincerely hope that the next interrogation of Cehl Meeah by PS Raddhoa will take place in the same friendly and cordial atmosphere as the last one, in spite of the absence of Nicholas Cook, QC.

But perhaps this particular press episode opens up a wider debate regarding the very special and priviledged relations that some jounalists have developed with prison and police officers.
Clearly journalists are kept regularly informed as to happenings in the prison or in Police Stations. Any number of "statements" find their way verbatim into the Press. Since it's unlikely that prison and police officers are fanatically and prematurely applying the "Freedom of Information Act", then either this exchange of priviledged information takes the form of a moneyed deal, or else it's done on a "donnant-donnant" basis.

Rather worrying, in either case.

RS