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M&G case goes to NPA

Mac Maharaj laid charges against M&G journalists for allegedly stealing a transcript.

Mail and Gaurdian Editor-In-Chief Nic Dawes. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Sights are set on _Mail & Guardian _(M&G) editor Nic Dawes and two of his journalists who are likely to be charged for the alleged theft of a transcript of an interview with Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

Maharaj laid charges against Dawes, Stefans Brummer and Sam Sole, after the paper wanted to run a story based on the transcript.

On Thursday, police informed the three men they were formal suspects in the case.

Maharaj claims he gave the interview to prosecutors under Section 28 of the National Prosectuing Authority (NPA) Act, which means the transcript would stay confidential and any information he gave them could not be used against him.

When the paper wanted to run a story based on that interview, he laid criminal charges, despite the fact the City Press newspaper running a similar story in 2007.

The journalists' lawyer Renier Spies said this case now goes to NPA officials.

"They will consider the evidence and make a decision whether there is a reasonable prospect of prosecution."

The paper asked the NPA for permission to use the information.

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