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City of Banjul
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lie Saine opens defence

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By Tabora Bojang

The former National Assembly Member for Banjul North, Abdoulie Saine, yesterday opened his defence in the ongoing sedition trial involving him before Magistrate Tracy Davies-Wilson of the Banjul Magistrates Court.
Mr Saine is charged with one count of seditious intent which he denies.
Prosecutors alleged he uttered derogatory remarks against Mandingos in a WhatsApp audio.

Testifying in court for the first time, Saine said he neither released, nor published any audio in connection with the charges online.
He said on 2 September 2018, he received a call from the deputy police commissioner for criminal intelligence Abdoulie Sanneh claiming that he had an audio that is doing rounds on WhatsApp attributed to him.

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He said Sanneh further informed him that the police are taking him to the Banjul station for his own safety since the audio could trigger reactions which could lead to violence.
He said the police later came for him but to his surprise, he was driven outside Banjul to an unknown location in Kombo, which he later realised to be the former green boys’ camp.
According to him when he spotted the unusual movement, he called the APRC interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta to explain his side of the incident after which his mobile phone was confiscated because he was told by Commissioner Sanneh that he was under arrest.

“I was never informed of any arrest at home. I was only aware of it while inside the police vehicle heading towards Kombo,” Saine told the court.
He alleged that during the drive to Kombo he could hear Commissioner Sanneh talking to someone he assumed to be his senior telling him that he (Sanneh) had already got Saine and he knew where to keep him in detention.

Saine alleged that he was “never processed upon arrival at Bijilo” contrary to normal police procedures. “I was but only handed over to the officer in charge to keep me under detention until they came back for me,” Saine concluded.
However, prosecutors did not appear before the court yesterday and the case was adjourned to 12 March at 2 pm for continuation.

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