VTV fined US$26k for speech defaming president

The broadcasting regulator has slapped Villa Television and sister station VFM with a fine of MVR400,000 (US$26,000) over a speech by an opposition lawmaker in December last year.

Following a defamation inquiry, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission found that MP Mohamed Musthafa used vulgar language to defame President Abdulla Yameen during a live event.

Both VTV and VFM – owned by the Island Broadcasting Company affiliated with exiled Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim – denied breaching the broadcasting code of conduct, MBC noted in its investigation report that was made public Thursday.

However, the commission decided to impose a fine of MVR200,000 (US$12,900) each and ordered the TV and radio stations to air an apology statement during primetime before March 12.

A spokesman for VTV and VFM‘s parent company said a statement will be issued shortly on its first fines under the draconian defamation law of 2016.

The MBC has previously fined independent broadcaster Raajje TV by MVR1.7 million (US$110,000) on three separate occasions,  the largest of which (US$65,000) came for a speech deemed defamatory towards the president.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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