Today is judgment day on Tamsir Jasseh, Alieu Jobe, MP Demba Dem and Omar Faal Keita Treason Trial!! …
…”Legal luminaries say the accused persons could face death or life imprisonment if  found guilty”

…….Coup Alleged Ring Leader Colonel Ndure Cham is still at large!!

By Staff Writer Justice Sam, Banjul.
Paid for and Commissioned by the
Freedom Newspaper.

A High Court in Banjul will today decide the fate of Civilian coup suspects who were implicated into the country’s 2006 March coup attempt allegedly spearheaded by Army Colonel fugitive Ndure Cham. The men includes Tamsir Jasseh former Immigration Boss, Alieu Jobe, former Accountant General, MP Demba Dem and Omar Faal Keita. The accused persons have been standing trial for the past couple of months on treason charges. If  found guilty they could face death penalty or life imprisonment, according to legal luminaries here. The accused men have denied plotting against the Ruling APRC Government, which topples the 30 years PPP rule in July of 1994.

The Presiding judge Justice Anin-Yeboah during the last sittings of the court, declared that the case in question was set for judgment today Thursday August 9TH, 2007. The judge says both the prosecution and defence had closed their case and as such it was time for the accused person’s fate be decided.

The treason trial saw the testimonies of 12 state witnesses. The state’s star witness was Brigadier-General Lang Tombong Tamba.  Tamba who claimed to have uncovered the coup plot directed at the Jammeh government earlier testified that plans were in advance stage to overthrow the APRC Government. He also explained to the court how he contacted the President while on an official visit to Mauritania and his subsequent role in the foiling of the coup.

Tamba was compensated  by the President shortly after the said purported coup. He promoted him to the rank of Brigadier General, while Musa Jammeh was elevated to the rank of Major. Major Jammeh played a crucial role in soliciting confession from some of the accused persons who were detained at the NIA torture chambers in Banjul. Almost, all the coup suspect detainees lamented about the mistreatment they received from the hand of Musa Jammeh and his subordinates.

As the court verdict is set for today, one of the army officers who was alleged to have participated into the torture of these accused persons Captain Tumbul Tamba, recently died under mysterious circumstances. Tamba was known for his tyranny and hostility towards perceived political opponents.

The alleged ring leader of the said coup Ndure Cham is presently residing at a neighboring country. He was recently accused by the Jammeh government alongside with other dissidents in that West African country of planning wage an armed struggle against the government of the day. Cham has been playing a low profile, since his escape in March of 2006.

One of the coup suspects Tamsir Jasseh is a US subject. Jasseh is a retired US soldier  who fought during desert storm. He returned to Banjul in the late 90’s with the sole objective  of contributing his quota to nation building. His first line of appointment was with the Gambia police Force. Jasseh left a good legacy at the police, where he played a crucial role in uplifting the professional standards of the Force. The Force was at the time faced by low staff moral and poor leadership. Jasseh’s presence changed the entire situation. He was able to bring discipline and professionlism into the force.

Jasseh was widely loved in the Force. He never hide his feelings about the NIA excesses and power abuse. He once told the local press that the NIA lacked the legal rights to arrest or enforce police basic duties. His statement never went down well with the Agency. Jasseh was later fired following a commentary published in the Daily Observer by Karamba Touray, a Gambian based in the United States. Touray in his piece described Tamsir as a principled officer. His piece was misinterpreted by the NIA, which led to Tamsir’s immediate sacking. The said piece was approved by the then Observer Editor Sheriff Bojang. Tamsir was fired for merely being praised by a perceived political opponent of the government of the day. Mr.Touray has been known as an arch UDP supporter.

A year later, Jasseh was appointed as an Immigration Director, a position he held up to his last termination. He is married with a sizeable family. Jasseh earlier testified that he was physically tortured while in state custody. He also said he handed himself to the authorities, even though he had the chance to leave the country at the material time. He was breifely in Senegal before returning to Banjul.

President Yahya Jammeh has claimed to have survived more than 15 coup attempts since coming to power. Some of the alleged coupists died in the process, while dozen others are still languishing in jail.

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.

Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, August 29, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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