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Breaking News:Gambian Gov’t Defies Court Order:MP Demba Demb is still behind bars!
Breaking News:Gambian Gov’t Defies Court Order:MP Demba Demb is still behind bars!
Gambian Gov’t Defies Court Order To Free MP Demba Dem!

“Concerned family Members Devastated by the State’s unwillingness  To Free Dem.”

Legal Luminaries say the Gov’t stands to face “contempt of court” charges!!
By Senior Staff Writer Justice Sam, Banjul

Paid for and Commissioned by the Freedom Newspaper.

Authorities in the Gambia have defied a court order, which ordered forthe immediate and unconditional release of MP Dem who was accused alongside with other coup suspects of planning to overthrow the Jammeh administration. MP Dem was acquitted and discharged by a High Court in Banjul, due to what the judge calls lack of compelling evidence to convict the accused. The judge in her ruling said the state charges against Dem “were weak and unreliable.”  She said her court cannot rely on such a weak case to send the accused to jail. She consequently ordered for the release of the accused. But since the said ruling, the state has not complied with the court order. The family of Demba Dem told our Correspondent their loved one was yet to be released despite the court order.

The Gambian Government has been in the habit of flouting court orders with impunity. Many a time superior courts  will order for the release of accused persons due to wanton of prosecution, but the state will flatly ignore such court orders. MP Dem’s vindication was not well received by the state. It was a major set back for the state law office. Their plans to get all the accused persons jailed could not worked.  The High Court in its ruling had clearly exposed the weakness of  the charges brought against Dem. These latest developments raises  heated debate here among legal luminaries. Some seasoned lawyers believe that with a proper appeal case filed on behalf of Jasseh and others, there is a possibility that the appeal court can overturn the judge’s verdict. In that, she raises serious doubts over  the prosecution’s here say evidence in a bid to get Dem convicted.

Speaking to the Freedom Newspaper, a member of the Dem family said the MP was yet to be released. ” The state is still holding MP Dem. We have made frantic efforts to locate him but there is no word about his whereabouts. The court said he should be released, but the state is yet to honour the court’s ruling. We are so confused and devastated. We need our father back at home. We really missed him.” said a concerned family member.

Another family member commented:” If this is what it takes to have justice in this country, then we are serious troubles. How can the state be more powerful than the courts? This is an affront to the rule of law. MP Dem is a true democrat who will never engage in subversive activities. From day one, we knew that the state charges were mere lies and figment of their own imagination.  God is with us. We look forward to seeing Dem in good health.”

Security experts here say Dem was being kept for security reasons as his release might led to the exposure of certain state secrets. ” Here was a man who suffered torture first hand. He is a victim of “gross human rights violations.” He could have been killed by his captives, but he survived. For Dem to reveal the names of his torturers and the events leading to the coup might cost this administration dearly. They are bid apprehensive about setting  him free. He is considered as a security threat. Dem has two choices if he ever happen to taste freedom again. One, to leave the country or openly announces his support for the government, otherwise, his life is on the line. That’s the only way he can live in this country freely without any persecution.” said the security expert.

According to the security expert, the President is a type who wants to accomplish his missions. “For the courts failure to declare all the accused guilty, means a lot for Jammeh. He believes that the courts are siding with his opponents by freeing Dem. On the other  hand, he also believe that court’s move might tempt other soldiers to give it a try again to unseat him through forceful means. He is not a  happy man these days. That I can tell you. Dem’s acquittal is bad for the regime.” the security expert added.

Legal luminaries say the Director of Prisons, Interior Minister and Department of State for Justice stand to be charged with contempt of court for failing abide by  the court’s ruling. Dem’s family they say,  should work on filing a contempt charges against the state.

The author can be reached by email at this address:justicemama2000@yahoo.co.uk

Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2007 (Archive on Thursday, August 30, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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