Mauritius: Three journalists arrested over story that got justice minister fired

Three Mauritian journalists were arrested on Monday by the police crime unit which conducted searches in their houses over a September 14 story that got Justice Minister Ravi Yerrigadoo sacked.

Two journalists of the L’Express newspaper Axcel Chenney and Yasin Denmamode and the director of the mother company La Sentinelle, Nad Sivaramen, were detained for hours and questioned by the police.

The lawyer of Nad Sivaramen Hervé Duval Jr told local media that the arrests are an attempt to intimidate the journalists.

They were released later on bail and asked to report at the Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) on Tuesday.

The journalists published a damning report on September 14 against the Justice Minister Ravi Yerrigadoo who was accused of money laundering by an informant Husein Abdool Rahim.

The allegation led to the sack of the minister.

Last week, the informant withdrew his statement and accused the newspaper and opposition leader Roshi Bhadain of conspiring to tarnish the image of the minister.

Civil society and rights groups have condemned the action of the police whose media officer Shiva Coothen had earlier said there was no warrant for their arrests but a search warrant.