The Gambia: Trial of two journalists delayed

13 Mar
The Publisher of the Justice Blog Sainey MK Marenah chanting Free Speech! Free Press! – slogan of the procession (Photo Credit: MSJoof/Globe/FPI)

The Publisher of the Justice Blog Sainey MK Marenah chanting Free Speech! Free Press! – slogan of the procession (Photo Credit: MSJoof/Globe/FPI)

The trial of two journalists in The Gambia has failed to proceed on March 13, 2014 because the Magistrate, Lamin Mbye, is sick, according to the Court.
Musa S. Sheriff, the Editor-In-Chief of The Voice newspaper and Sainey MK Marenah, a freelance journalist, have pleaded not guilty to charges of “conspiracy to commit a misdemeanour” and “false publication” brought against them by the police.
In the last session of February 19, the Magistrate Court in Banjul admitted as evidence a copy of The Voice newspaper which bears the political defections article “19 Green Youths joins opposition UDP” as Exhibit A.
The Court has also admitted as evidence, a report of the panel of investigators as Exhibit B. The first prosecution witness Lamin Jammeh, a police officer of the criminal investigation unit for West Coast Region, had testified.
Their trial stem from a news story in December 2013 that indicated a small number of the Green Youths (a group of young and adult supporters of the President, Yahya Jammeh and his ruling party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC) defected to the main opposition UDP.
Under cross-examination, the witness said he didn’t have a register of all the green youths in Tanji and don’t know how many green youths are in The Gambia.
However, he reiterated that there are 58 green youths in Tanji, a village in the Kombo South District, West Coast Region of The Gambia.
Lamin Jammeh said he spoke to five members of the green youths including their leader Aji Ousman Jallow during the investigation.
He said apart from the five people they spoke to, they [the panel] suggest that the publication was false through the reaction of Sainey Manneh, the spoke person of Tanji green youths and the former Alkalo (village head) of Tanji.
Sheriff and Marenah were detained on January 14 at Sanyang village, south of the Gambian capital, Banjul before they were brought to court on January 16.
The trial is scheduled to continue on 26 March, 2014.

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One Response to “The Gambia: Trial of two journalists delayed”

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  1. Police fail to secure conviction of UDP youth leader Ebrima Solo Sandeng | Front Page International - March 26, 2014

    […] The Gambia: Trial of two journalists delayed […]

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