A Malian newspaper editor detained for nearly a month after publishing an open letter from disgruntled soldiers appeared Tuesday before a magistrate who delayed judgement against him for a week.
Boukary Daou was taken into custody on March 6 and charged with "incitement to disobedience" over the letter objecting to the salary earned by Captain Amadou Sanogo, leader of a coup that ousted Mali's government last year.
The media launched a nationwide strike to protest against the arrest of Daou, the editor of the Republican daily newspaper, with the campaign eventually morphing into a blackout of coverage of government activities.
His lawyers are asking for the case to be thrown out of court, arguing that laws regulating the press have not been applied properly.
Sanogo was installed in February as head of a military reform committee, a post created for him as an incentive to accept a transitional government tasked with steering the west African country to elections.
He had led a group of fellow mid-level officers to overthrow then-president Amadou Toumani Toure in March last year, upending what had been considered one of the region's most stable democracies.
The coup precipitated the fall of northern Mali to Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda but a military intervention by French and African troops chased the rebels from the region's main cities.
However, fighting continues in desert areas of northeastern Mali where armed Islamists are entrenched.