A Cameroonian businessman was arrested on Monday in connection with the high-profile abduction and murder of a journalist, his company and a communications ministry official said.
Two weeks after the dead body of Cameroonian journalist Salomon Mbani Zogo better known as Martinez Zogo was found, an influential tycoon is being questioned.
Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga owner of L’Anecdote media group, was arrested Monday (Feb. 06) according to the Cameroonian Communications ministry.
Belinga’s media group l’Anecdote confirmed its owner was undergoing questioning by the gendarmerie’s top institution.
Zogo, 50, was the manager of the privately-owned radio station Amplitude FM and host of a daily show called Embouteillage (Traffic Jam). Radio journalist on the air, he regularly tackled cases of corruption and alleged embezzlement, not hesitating to question important personalities by name. Amougou Belinga was one of them. The businessman, reputedly a friend of several ministers, has holdings in banking, finance, insurance and property, as well as L’Anecdote, which owns a daily newspaper of that name and several pro-government TV and radio stations.
Fellow journalists paid their respects to Zogo urging for an investigation His murder left many shocked in Cameroon as NGOs continue to call out violations of press freedom and freedom of speech.
Zogo was abducted on January 17 outside a police station in the suburbs of the capital Yaounde, and his heavily-mutilated corpse was found five days later.
Just days before he was killed, he had told listeners about threats he faced.
Amougou Belinga’s arrest came after several people were detained last week in the affair.
The murder sparked an outcry, including a protest by 20 leading Cameroonians over the government’s “long tradition of trivialising impunity and accepting atrocities.”
President Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon with an iron fist for more than 40 years, called for a full probe into the murder.
The government has insisted Cameroon is “a state of law, where liberty is guaranteed, including the freedom of the press”.
RSF’s Press Freedom Index ranks Cameroon a lowly 118th out of 180 countries.
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