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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 27, 2020

JUDGMENT IN OBSERVER EDITOR’S CASE TODAY

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Justice Emmanuel Amadi on July 11 said he will put an end to the one-year-and-seven month trial on September 3, even though the high court is on vacation. And he is not a sitting judge.

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Alhajie Jobe is standing trial on a five-count charge of making an act with seditious intention, seditious publication, and possession of seditious publication, giving false information to public servant, and committing a reckless and negligent act.

His co-accused, Mbye Bittaye, is facing a single count of making preparation to commit an act with seditious intention. Both men pleaded not guilty. They maintained that they are innocent throughout their defence after the testimonies of state witnesses. 

Jobe is accused of publishing and being in possession of an ‘edition’ of Observer in December 2012 that a “Major Lamin Touray is on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in execution of some people” with intent to bring hatred and to excite disaffection against the person of the president of The Gambia and the government of The Gambia.

He is also accused of giving false information to the management of the Observer Company and the general public by publishing the story in the Daily Observer newspaper which he knew was false.

According to the state prosecutors, in 2012 at the Observer Company, Mbye Bittaye made inquiries with intent to make a forged document on behalf of Lamin Touray with intent to deceive and which was published in the same Daily Observer.

During the trial, the case see-sawed after Jobe’s lawyer claimed that his client was tortured, pressuring the court to settling the dust over the allegation in a trial within a trial before proceeding with the main matter. 

Jobe’s torture allegation prior to making his statements before a panel of investigators at the National Intelligence Agency was dismissed.

Jobe’s lawyers made several unsuccessful attempts to secure his release from state custody since his arrest on February 7, 2013.

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