Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Civilians Connected to 2006 Attempted Coup Arraigned

Njie and Lowe sitting in the gallery

After spending five years in remand at Gambia’s central prison where news and rumours of death of in-mates are nowadays coming-out thick and fast, the two civilians allegedly connected to the alleged 2006 coup attempt in Gambia were arraigned at the Special Criminal Court on Tuesday.
Gambia’s fugitive ex-defence chief Ndure Cham, who is said to have masterminded the alleged 2006 military coup attempt is still at large, but about five top army officers allegedly connected to the aborted coup have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, about five others including former intelligence chief, Daba Marenah have allegedly ‘escaped’ under mysterious circumstances while they were being transferred to provincial Janjanbureh prison.
Former defence chief Lang Tombong Tamba, who was Ndure Cham’s deputy and navy chief Sarjo Fofataa were recently sentenced to life imprisonment for concealment of treason even though they had pleaded not guilty. They have however appealed against their conviction.
Facing trial now over this saga that allegedly occurred while president Jammeh was on a trip abroad, is Mr Ablie Njie and Alieu Lowe.
Both attired in light-blue kaftan, Mr Ablie Njie and Alieu Lowe, who were working at the Gambia’s defence headquarters, are charged with treason related offences.
According to the prosecution, the men knew about the planned coup, but failed to give information to relevant authorities neither have they taken ‘reasonable steps to prevent the incident’. Therefore, they committed a treasonable offence by concealing treason, but both denied the allegations. However, if found guilty they could join over twenty Gambians currently on death-row for murder and treason – the two crimes that attract death sentence in Gambia.
The case resumes December 1 for continuation.

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