Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera freed after seven months in prison

Monday February 24 2020

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera.

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera in court on August 19, 2019. PHOTO | REUTERS 

EMMANUEL ONYANGO
By EMMANUEL ONYANGO
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Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera has been set free after spending seven months in prison.

Mr Kabendera was released after pleading guilty to money laundering for which he was fined by the Kisutu Resident's Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam on Monday.

His release follows plea bargain agreement he entered with the Director of Public Prosecutions in which a charge relating to involvement in organised crime was dropped.

The journalist was fined Tsh172 million ($74,000) for tax evasion, which he agreed to pay in six months, and Tsh100 million ($43,000) for money laundering.

Senior Resident Magistrate Janeth Mtega also ordered him to pay Tsh250,000 ($108) for his release.

Mr Kabendera was arrested late July after police said his citizenship was questionable.

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He was later charged with money laundering, tax evasion and involvement in organised crime—all non-bailable offences.

His case has been adjourned several times.

Mr Kabendera has written for The EastAfrican and for several UK publications including The Guardian, The Independent, and The Times.

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