By Modou S. Joof
On April 2, 2013, the lawyers are expected to continue battle to secure bail for Gambian editor Alagie Jobe and his co accused Mbye Bittaye.
Jobe, an editor of Gambia’s pro-government Daily Observer newspaper and Bittaye, an employee of the mobile telephony company Africell – were denied bail by the Kanifing Court Magistrate Hilary Abeke on March 26.
Mr Jobe is charged with six counts of “seditious intent”, “seditious publication”, “possession of seditious publication”, “giving false information to a public officer”, “forgery”, and “making document without authority”.
While his co-accused Mr Bittaye is charge with “unlawful inquiries relating to possibility of forgery”. They have both denied the charges brought against them by the police.
Since his arrest on February 7, 2013, editor Jobe who has been previously held by the country’s national intelligence agency is now on remand at the Mile 2 Central Prison since March 12.
Bittaye has also been on detention since March 5, and last week Tuesday, his lawyer Seega Gaye objected to a “written consent” for the onward prosecution of the duo from the Attorney General Chambers. She argued his client “is not charge with sedition”.
Gaye urges the court to discharge the accused persons till when the prosecution is ready to proceed with the case.
“This is the third time of an adjournment without any valid reasons,” she argued during the previous sitting. However, Superintendent Sainey Joof, prosecuting, has hinted the accused are likely to face new charges.
In a charge sheet, the police accuse Mr Jobe of publishing on a 19th December 2012 edition of the Daily Observer that “Major Lamin Touray is on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in execution of some people”.
This, they claim, was done “with intent to bring hatred and to excite disaffection against the person of the President of The Gambia and the government of The Gambia”.