Renowned lawyer, Ndzelen Frankline Bernard B. Esquire says the burden of proof lies on Calabash Music label which alleged being defamed by two entertainers: YouTube content creator, Mr Njoya and artiste, Melcube.
Both entertainers were accused by the music label for making disparaging comments regarding its partnership with South Africa’s Open Mic Productions.
Reacting to the complaint lodged by Calabash music, Ndzelen Frankline Bernard B. Esquire who doubles as Founder of the Fonlon Law firm highlighted that it meets the definition of a criminal case as instigated.
Following the complaint lodged at the Groupement Territorial de Gendarmerie, Douala through the Ndikum Sylve Law firm, he explained, the Colonel is required to to carry out his duties as a Judicial Police Officer “as provided by Section 82(a) of the Cameroon Criminal Procedure Code which is simply to investigate the offense, collect evidence, identify the offenders & accomplices, then forward all before the Legal Department of the Court of competent jurisdiction within which the matter falls…”
“… after that it shall be pushed to open Court for trial where Justice shall be served,” Ndzelen Frankline Bernard B. Esquire explains.
As easy as it may seem, the burden of proof of guilt, he says, rests on the complainant: “According to the Law, ‘He who alledges must prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements necessary to establish the guilt of the Defendant’ … Thus, Calabash has to prove what she alleged.”
Examination of evidence
To arrive a conclusion, the authorities in charge of such matter will have to assess the claims and evidence provided to ascertain whether the crime of defamation was committed.
Ndzelen Frankline Bernard B. Esquire cites Section 305(1) of the Cameroon Penal Code which provides an outline including: “By gesture, word, cry uttered in any place public/open; Injures the honour or reputation of another by imputations directly or indirectly; Facts which he is unable to prove.”
“After the Prosecution must have made their case,” he adds, “the Defendants shall be given the chance to defend themselves taking into consideration the exceptions mentioned in Section 306 of the Cameroon Penal Code”
Out of court settlement is ideal
Regardless of the flaring tempers, the legal expert believes it is ideal for both parties to have an amicable settlement given that “disadvantages of seeking legal redress outrightly outweigh the advantages…”
An ideal party settlement, he explains, would be one where “both parties to seek an independent third party (Arbitrator/Mediator) to guide them through the amicable settlement process, wherein both parties are expected to be ready to lose a fraction of what they initially desired as damages or compensation or pride”.