The Kaneshie District Court has imposed a GH¢6,000 fine on Francis Awusi, an evangelist, for making false and offensive statements about Prophet Gabriel Akwesi Sarpong, General Overseer of Cross of Miracles International, Accra.
Awusi, who is also a YouTube host, would in default serve one-year imprisonment.
The said publications indicated that Prophet Sarpong (the complainant) was an occult pastor and a murderer, who had killed his wife for occultism to run his church.
The court ordered Awusi to go to Peace FM, a private radio station, Daily Graphic Newspaper, and use his YouTube channel where he had defamed the complainant and render an apology.
Awusi who was charged with offensive conduct and publication of false news earlier pleaded not guilty.
However, when sitting resumed, Awusi, who was represented by a lawyer, informed the court that he wanted to change his plea.
The prosecution had called three witnesses and played three videos at the ongoing trial.
The court presided over by Ms. Ama Adomako Kwakye convicted Awusi on his own plea.
His counsel, prayed the court to have mercy on him, saying he was a first offender, married with children, and was a man of God with a huge congregation.
Prosecuting, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Amoahsaid the complainant was Prophet AkwesiSarpong.
The court said the convict was also a host of a YouTube channel programme, known as “Hell and Heaven”, whiles Isaac Gyasi, the second accused, aka K2 Temple, was at large.
Chief Insp Amoah said Prophet Sarpong said the complainant reported to the police that in August 2020, Gyasi whose face was covered with a veil, made certain false and offensive statements about the complainant during a live YouTube TV programme, hosted by Awusi.
Prosecution said Gyasi alleged among other things that the complainant, Prophet Sarpong, was an occult pastor and a murderer, who had killed his wife for occultism powers to run his church.
Chief Insp Amoah said Awusi, who was hosting the live TV programme, also published the pictures and videos of some church activities of the complainant on the screen and had warned the public to stay away from his church.
The prosecution said Awusi was arrested and during investigations, it was established that Awusi hosted the programme with Gyasi as his guest.
Chief Insp Amoah said Awusi also supported the allegations made against the complainant by showing pictures and videos of the complainant on the YouTube channel on the internet.
The prosecution said Awusi admitted the offence and explained that he only interviewed Gyasi, who was invited to participate in his programme by his producer and that he did not know Gyasi personally.