Wednesday, November 16, 2011

State Ordered to Look Into Former Minister’s Prison Condition

Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court on Monday ordered the chief prosecutor, Abdullahi Mikalive to look into the conditions under which former Information minister is being kept.
Former minister Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh had earlier complained about the ‘bad’ state of his cell where he is being remanded pending the outcome the treason charges against him and three others.
“Has your conditions been change,” justice Nkea inquired from Dr Janneh on Monday, but the former minister responded that nothing has been done about it. This prompted the judge to order the director of public prosecution to look into it.
Though the trial resumed Tuesday, the state however did not make any mention of its enquiry so far, if any at all, into Janneh’s prisons condition.
Dr Janneh is charged with treason, conspiracy and sedition alongside a Nigerian national Michel C. Ucheh Thomas and two Gambian youth Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow.
The prosecution says the accused persons have printed-out and distributed T-Shirts bearing the inscription: ‘Coalition for Change The Gambia, End Dictatorship Now,’ which are meant to overthrow Gambia government through protests.
They however denied any wrongdoing. Treason attracts a minimum of life imprisonment and maximum penalty of death sentence in The Gambia.

Meanwhile, Ousman Topp, a police officer attached to the Criminal Investigation Unit told the court that a recovered document of Coalition for Change, The Gambia calls for “end to dictatorship and the climate of fear.”
The police criminal investigator said, the main objective of Coalition for Change The Gambia (CCG), coordinated by Dr Amadou Scattered Janneh was to remove Gambian president Yayha Jammeh from power.
Topp said CCG Gmail printouts reveal that a date has been set for street action and regime change through unlawful means as it happened in North Africa.
Mr. Topp, who appeared as state witness no.7 said, the distributed T Shirts were to be worn during the street protests, which was set to coincide with president Jammeh’s birthday.
Mr Topp added that the printouts also reveal that a radio was stationed in Senegal to broadcast their messages.
He said the audio which was earlier played in court was to be sent to Kaoloack, in Senegal to be aired on Sud FM, a privately owned radio station.
“All members of (CCG) were sent the same user name and password which Ndey Tapha Sosseh, former president of The Gambia Press Union and Mathew K Jallow were among,” he said.
Mr Topp further said that slogans like Jammeh must go; Freedom now and end dictatorship were also found in the CCG Gmail account.

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