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Friday, July 10, 2020

Soldiers appeal treason sentences

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By Bruce Asemota

The Gambia Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Awa Bah, NaCeesay Salla-Wadda and Kumba Sillah-Camara yesterday adjourned the criminal appeal case involving convicted eight soldiers of the Gambia National Army against the State for adoption of briefs on the 16th July.

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The appeal court’s decision to adjourn the matter for adoption of briefs of argument by both counsels came after informing the court of filing their arguments.
The soldiers: Capt Yahya (Beray) Jammeh; Lt Abdoulie Jarjue; Lt Yaya Jammeh; Sgt Babucarr Sanneh; Sgt Malick Bojang; Lance Corporal Abba Badjie; Private Mbemba Camara and Lance Corporal Alieu Sanneh were convicted and sentenced by the General Court Martial in 2019 for treason to terms of imprisonment ranging from three to nine years.
The convicted soldiers contended that the court martial erred in law when it proceeded to hear and determine count one of the charges made against them without the written consent of the Attorney General.

They also disclosed that the court martial erred in law when it placed heavy reliance on the evidence of witness Dino Sanneh by “attaching unimaginable weight” to his evidence without considering the nature of his evidence and thus caused a miscarriage of justice.
They said Sanneh was “a tainted witness” because he was arrested and detained with them and was only released in November 2017 when he agreed to testify against them.
They also argued that the court martial erred in law when it convicted them on the charge of treason without corroboration.

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