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Journo off the hook over smses

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Johannesburg - Charges were dropped on Wednesday against a Daily Sun journalist who was accused of sending intimidating smses to himself, his lawyers said.

Ricky Dire was arrested in March and charged with intimidation and resisting arrest, said his lawyer Andrew Boerner, of Jurgens Bekker Attorneys.

The charges against him were withdrawn.

In January, Dire was arrested and assaulted in Tlhabane near Rustenburg after taking photos of police allegedly accepting bribes from shop owners.

The shop owners had called Dire complaining that police had been harassing them and asking for bribes.

After his arrest, Dire received smses threatening to kill his family unless he withdrew his disclosure to the Daily Sun and the police that he had been harassed, assaulted, and arrested.

Boerner said police investigated the matter and Dire was re-arrested and accused of sending the smses to himself and resisting arrest.

“It is clear that the police in this instance attempted to use any means necessary to intimidate him. They failed to observe and protect the freedom of the press.”

Sapa


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