Breaking News:Army Coup Convicts To Face Death Penalty-Justice Agim sentences accused persons to death!!!

Justice Agim want  convicts

By A Revoving Reporter Banjul.
Paid For And Commissioned
by the Freedom Newspaper

A military tribunal in the Gambia, presided over by a Nigerian judge Justice Agim, has sentenced  army officers accused of plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Yahya Jammeh to death, according to a top army officer who served on the court martial proceedings. The official who leaked Justice Agim’s judgment, which is due to be officially delivered today Thursday, said all the accused persons were found guilty on the treason charges brought against them by the state. The soldiers condemned to death were identified as Captains Bunja Darboe, Yaya Darboe, Wassa Camara, Major Pierre John Mendy, Abdou Karim Jah, 2nd Lt Pharing Sanyang, Lt Momodou Alieu Bah, Corporal Samba Bah, Lance Corporal Babou Janha and Private Alhagie Nying. Justice Agim, in a lengthy judgment said the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt and therefore sentenced the accused persons accordingly. The Nigerian judge cited the submissions made by the defence and the prosecution before handing over his verdict. The judge describes the actions of the accused persons as inimical to the peace and tranquility of the West African nation, as he deplores any attempt to cease power through forceful means. Justice Agim also claimed that sufficient evidence was established against the accused persons about their determination “to disrupt the country’s democratic process, through a coup.

The alleged mastermind of the said coup Colonel Ndure Cham, has been on the run. His name dominated the proceedings, which ran for one year. The accused persons risked being executed by the government if their lawyers fail to file an appeal on their behalf within 30 days or so, the court martial official hinted. The official was quick to add that the President Yahya Jammeh has the final decision on the execution of these soldiers, since he was the commander-in-chief. The official told this reporter that the Appeal Court has the powers to hear any appeal forwarded by the convicts and could also order for a stay of the execution of  the said verdict.

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has claimed to have foiled more than 12 coups since he came to power in July of 1994. He was on an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, when news reached him that the army was on the verge of toppling his government. The controversial President, later resorts to cutting his visit sort. His Intelligent Chief Daba Marena, who was part of his delegation, was executed on arrival alongside with other four coup suspects, army sources revealed. Mr.Marena was accused of concealing a coup attempt. The only story the government gave for his disappearance was that he and other coup suspects escaped while they were being taken to a jail house in Janjangbureh, in the Central River Division of The Gambia. But sources in the heart of Gambia’s military command confirmed to the Freedom Newspaper that the men were indeed executed by some state guard personnels led by Musa Jammeh, Tumbul Tamba and others. A source at the GAF head Quarters in  Banjul,  said Marena and co were summarily executed for alleged security reasons, as they were posed to spill the beans if ever taken to a court of law. Unconfirmed reports even have it that their killers were even part of the alleged coup and in a bid to discredit any trace of evidence. They resorted to taking the lives of  he security chiefs. While these alleged killers are being considered as President Jammeh’s own “pet boys”, it remain to be seen that the President still entertains the belief that there are still some army rebels in active duty.

The presiding judge justice Agim came to the Gambia, under technical assistance from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He first served as Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at the government’s law offices in Banjul. Agim who successfully helped to convict the former Majority leader Baba Jobe,Lamin Waa Juwara and other political opponents had his contracted expired. The Jammeh government later offered him a high court judge position, which he accepted.

An army official who served the court martial said Agim reported his findings to the President before delivering it to the Gambian public. The officer said he was privy to  the content of  Agim’s judgment and all his colleagues supported the death sentence conviction established against the accused persons. “The President should tamper justice with mercy and spear the lives of these young soldiers. They deserve to live no matter what. The blood bath should stop. We know that the President is angry and worried but should refrain from killing these young soldiers.” said the army court martial official.

During the year long trial, the convicts complained about torture and death threats they received from their captives. They explained how they were tortured at the NIA by some state guards led by Musa Jammeh, widely known as “Maliamungu or Chemical Ali.” The accused persons said they were forced to sign voluntary and cautionary statements by the state. They testified in court that their statements were never obtained voluntarily, opposed to what the prosecution submitted in court. They said the statements were obtained under duress.

For more on this story, stay tuned. Our Chief National Correspondent Landing Badjie will keep you posted with developments.

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Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 (Archive on Tuesday, May 29, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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