Tuesday, October 23, 2012

President Jammeh Orders Charges be Drop Against The Two Journalist

(Daily News) The Justice Minister of the Gambia, Lamin Jorbateh in a verbal statement after consultation with his Legal Secretary and Solicitor General Mr. Pa Harry Jammeh finally freed the two journalist on 23rd of October 2012 in Banjul. The two were told in the minister’s office by the minister that the President has called on the relevant authorities to immediately drop the charges leveled against the them.
 hey were charged with Incitement to violence, conspiracy to commit felony, and seditious Intention which falls on section 59 (b), 368, and 51 of the Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol III Laws of the Gambia 2009 respectively.

The two journalists were before a panel of very senior judicial ranks in the persons of : the Crime Management Coordinator Lamin Sanyang, the Officer in Charge of Prosecution Yahya Touray, and the Officer Commanding of the Criminal Investigation Unit Mr, Bojang and the Director of Public Prosecution Mr. S.H.Barkum.

Abubacarr Saidykhan, an Independent Freelance Journalist and a Human Right Activist and a member of the Gambia Press Union and his colleague Baboucarr Ceesay, the First Vice President of the Gambia Press Union and correspondent for Africa Review were both arrested on the 6th of September 2012. Their arrest followed the filing an application sent to the Inspector General of Police to ask for a legal permit to hold a peaceful demonstration against the recent execution of the nine death row inmates.

There were no reasons advanced as to the dropping of the charges against the two Journalists by the Minister of Justice and the Legal Secretary. “Both of you must understand that this Country belongs to all of us and we must uphold the peace and security of this country. I cannot just understand why you prefer to demonstrate peacefully after knowing the repercussions of a peaceful demonstration". The minister said

The issue of the prerogative order, by which one can file at the High Court for the Court to order the National Assembly Members to act on the use of the Motion of "Mandamus" was was taken up with the minister. He argued as to the "Locus Standi" or a legal authority that the two journalists have to file that Motion at the High Court.
The minister was reminded that every citizen of the Republic of the Gambia has the "Locus Standi" to take up the issue of the Death Penalty as a national Issue. Section 18 subsection (1) (2) and (3) clearly talks about the provision of the Death Penalty which has to be followed by the custodian of the Constitution.

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