Jallow’s Independent


SGT Sana Majang’s gun
that was left at the
Independent during
the last fire bomb!!

Gambia UPDATE:  State prosecutor asks court to jail newspaper journalist, publishers

The prosecutor in the trial of Lamin Fatty, a reporter with the banned Banjul-based bi-weekly “The Independent” newspaper, who is being tried for allegedly publishing “false information” on May 23, 2007 asked the Court to convict the journalist of the charge. Momodou Mballow also requested that in addition to the conviction of Fatty, “The Independent” Media Company, publishers of the newspaper should be held liable for the same offence. Mballow who was making his submission at the Kanifing MagistrateÂ’s Court said since the exhibits presented to the court had been further corroborated by the evidence of three prosecution witnesses, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and as such the court should  convict the journalist. If convicted, Fatty faces a minimum of one year in jail with an option of a fine of not less than 50, 000 dalasis (about 1,850 US$), or both. Fatty is charged under Section 181 of the Criminal Code which in its amended form makes the publication of “false information” a criminal and punishable offence.
Mballow who was making his submission at the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court said since the exhibits presented to the court had been further corroborated by the evidence of three prosecution witnesses, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and as such the court should  convict the journalist.
If convicted, Fatty faces a minimum of one year in jail with an option of a fine of not less than 50, 000 dalasis (about 1,850 US$), or both. Fatty is charged under Section 181 of the Criminal Code which in its amended form makes the publication of “false information” a criminal and punishable offence.
The prosecution had tendered four documents as Exhibits, namely; a copy of “The Independent” publication of 24-26 March 2006 edition; The Independent’s rejoinder of 27-30 March 2007; Fatty’s caution statement as well as his voluntary statement.
The prosecution had also called three witnesses namely: Samba Bah, former minister of Interior, Lamin Cham, a police officer, and Malamin Ceesay, another officer of the Major Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Force.
The court adjourned sittings to May 29, 2007 to enable the defence to respond to the prosecutorÂ’s submission.
The March 24, 2006 edition of “The Independent” erroneously reported Bah, also a former head of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA), as among those arrested in the aftermath of an alleged coup. The newspaper subsequently published Bah’s rejoinder and also apologized to him.
The police soon after raided the offices of “The Independent” and arrested all staff members, including Madi Ceesay and Musa Saidykhan, General Manager and Editor, respectively. They have since been released without charge. Fatty was arrested by the Gambian police on April 10, 2006 and illegally detained for 63 days.
Meanwhile, the sedition trial of Fatou Jaw Manneh, formerly of pro-government “Daily Observer” has been adjourned to June 1, following her Counsel Lamin Jobarteh’s absence in court.
Kwame Karikari, Prof.
Executive Director
MFWA
Accra
Tel:       233-21-24 24 70
Fax:      233-21-22 10 84

Email: mfwa@africaonline.com.gh

Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 (Archive on Saturday, June 02, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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