Breaking News:Jasseh, Jobe and Keita to serve 20 Years Behind Bars Each-Justice Yeboah Declares!!
Jasseh, Jobe and Keita to serve 20 Years Behind Bars Each-Justice Yeboah Declares!!

..Weeping Families Devastated by the Judge’s Verdict

MP Dem Dem Freed Due To Lack of Evidence-Judge Rules

By Senior Staff Writer Justice Sam, Banjul
Paid for And Commissioned by the Freedom

It was a somber day in Banjul today, when the High Court sentenced Tamsir Jasseh, Alieu Jobe and Omar Faal Keita each 20 years in jail with hard labour. The trial judge Justice Anin-Yeboah in a marathon  judgment says the prosecution had proven its case against the three accused persons beyond all reasonable doubts. One of the accused persons Demba Dem was acquitted and discharged by the court for lack of evidence. The presiding judge says the prosecution could not prove its case on the side of MP Dem and accordingly ordered for his immediate release from custody.

The men were charged with attempting to overthrow the 13 years APRC rule, which is punishable by death. The judge after carefully examining the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses and the defence ruled that Messrs Jasseh, Jobe and Keita were guilty as charged and asked them to enter plea of mitigation before sentences would be  passed against them. Their lawyer’s attempts to prevail over the presiding judge to tamper justice with mercy never, considering the high amount of responsibility they would  leave behind after been in castrated, felt into deaf ears, as the judge ruled that the accused persons must serve 20 years behind  bars for their actions to topple the government of the day.

The judge maintains that  the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts. Addressing a packed court room, Justice Yeboah denounced any attempt taken  to topple a government through forceful means. She said the accused prison’s terms goes with hard labour. The judge says the accused reserve the right to appeal her judgment within 30 days or so after the passage of the judgment.

The alleged ring leader of the March abortive coup attempt Colonel Ndure Cham is said to be residing in a West African country. Cham has been playing low profile since his departure from Banjul. The Government has accused him of trying to wage an armed resurrection against the APRC by working alonside with what the government calls ” Gambian dissidents in Senegal.” The Wade Government dismisses the government’s allegations as utter rubbish and complete nonsense.

Shortly after the March coup attempt, the President declared that it was about time for his Government to set a drastic example against those bent on undermining the nation’s fragile democratic process. The President assured his supporters that from now on, there would be no mercy to people trying change his government through forceful means.

Days later, the government came with a story that five coup suspects, including the country’s former intelligence chief Daba Marena escaped while they were being transported to a jail house in Janjangbureh in the Central River Division of The Gambia.  The Office of the Inspector General of Police in a release says the automobile the accused persons were traveling with somersaulted. In the process, the release went on” the accused persons escaped.”

Many observers here believe that the accused persons were murdered by the government. Up to the time of filing this story, there is no immediate word about the whereabouts of Marena, Lowe and others. The government is not keen at entertaining questions regarding the whereabouts of the accused persons. Well placed military sources say the accused persons were summarily executed and buried in a mass grave  by their killers. They were not accorded decent burial by the state, even though their families made repeated efforts to have access to their loved ones.

Meanwhile, the coup convicts were escorted to a waiting prison truck and taken to the Mile Two Central Prisons. Weeping families could be seen bidding farewell to their loved ones. It was indeed a sad day. Tears ran on their chicks, while they helplessly watched by, the convicts being escorted to jail. 20 years in jail, means a long period of time considering the poor environmental sanitation at the Mile Two. These prisoners are denied access to a balanced diet, proper medication and sometimes seeing their loved ones. Most prisoners died in jail due to hunger related illnesses.

The Gambia Appeal Court of Appeal can overturn the said judgement provided that the defence can establish that the trial judge erred in law by sentencing their clients. Such arguments must be based on facts and legal authorities. Due to the government’s frequent intervention in the operations of the judiciary, many judges dance to the dictates of the regime in a bid to keep their jobs. Judges who assert their independence often have their contracts revoked.

Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, August 29, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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