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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Foroyaa’s Mass Kah opens defence in his sedition trial

Mr Kah is being tried on sedition charge for uttering a statement against the photo of  President Jammeh which one Lamin Camara was pasting on his vehicle opposite a tailoring shop at Latrikunda, Serekunda in November last year. 

In his bid to establish a prima facie case against the accused person, the police prosecutor, Sergeant Colley called five witnesses and tendered a host of exhibits before closing his case. The counsel for Mr Kah on the other hand made a no-case submission arguing that the evidences produced by the prosecution witnesses do not warrant his client to enter a defence. But the court dismissed Camara’s submission and ruled that Mr Kah has a case to answer and must stand trial. 

When the case resumed yesterday, Mr Kah who was testifying through an interpreter confirmed that he was an employee of Foroyaa newspaper as a messenger and was a resident of Latrikunda German.

He told the court that in November 2013, a certain Lamin Camara (not the counsel) drove his car to a tailoring shop by their ‘attaya vous’ where he and his friends regularly meet to debate political and social issues.

“Lamin Camara drove to our ‘vous’ with a lady, alighted his car, then started pasting the picture of the president and suddenly, Lamin Jaiteh, who is also a part of  our ‘vous’ passed-by. He commented that they [Camara and the lady with him] were challenging me because of the  the party I support.  I told him, ‘Don’t mind them, if they want, let them paste the picture on the sky’. Jaiteh then asked whether it was PDOIS versus the APRC and that was the time when Lamin Camara and the lady accompanying him told me, ‘You PDOIS people don’t know anything’. They said Halifa Sallah will never be the leader of this country as he had been trying for many years and could not win. They started provoking me and I said to them, ‘Halifa is the only man [in The Gambia] who wears trousers,” Mr Kah explained.

He said Lamin Camara and the woman left and he returned with police officers to his compound who escorted him to a sub-police station at Latrikunda German before he was taken to Serekunda Police Station, then to Kotu Police Station before being driven to the National Intelligence Agency headquarters in Banjul for questioning. He told the court that he told the interrogating officers that he was not going to say anything but he was inveigled to write his statement. 

Lawyer Camara showed him a statement he was alleged to have given but he posited that he would only ascertain it if its contents were read out to him. This was done and he accepted it. Under cross-examination by the police prosecutor, Mr Kah denied having ever met the poster-pasting Lamin Camara before the incident.  Hearing resumes April Fool’s Day.

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