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Rashidi M. Omari v. R., Crim. App. 259-D-68, 7/6/68, Saidi J.

Rashidi M. Omari v. R., Crim. App. 259-D-68, 7/6/68, Saidi J.

Accused was convicted of defamation. (P.C. s. 187) Accused had requested that the Area Commissioner make a removal order against a neighbour who was having an affair with his wife. Complainant, a probation officer then interceded on behalf of the neighbour. Accused then wrote an excited letter to the Principal Probation Officer in Dar es Salaam, protesting complainant’s intercession in the matter. The prosecution concerned the contents of this letter.

            Held: Penal Code section 192 provides that publication of defamatory matter is privileged on condition that it is published in good faith if the person publishing it has a legitimate personal interest in publishing it, and the publication does not exceed that which is reasonably sufficient for the occasion “and in following cases, namely …. (3) If the matter is an expression of opinion in good faith as to the conduct of a person in a judicial, official or other capacity, or as to his personal character so far as it appears in such conduct.” The letter written to complainant’s superior officer came within the terms of this section. Conviction quashed.


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