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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Supreme Court adjourns Tamba & Co appeal for ruling

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The decision of the court came after both parties made their submission and argument as to whether the court should review the case or not. 

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The applicants, Lang Tombong Tamba, Omar Bun Mbye, Kawsu Camara alias ‘Bombardier’, Modou Gaye, Lamin BO Badgie, Gibril Ngorr Secka and Abdoulie Joof were charged with three counts of treason. The indictment stated that between January and December 2009, they procured arms and ammunition, equipment and mercenaries from Guinea Conakry and other places to stage a coup and overthrow the democratically elected government of The Gambia.  They pleaded not guilty and were sentenced to death by the high court in July 2010.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the high court, counsel for Tamba and others filed an appeal before the court of appeal but it was dismissed by the court citing lack of merit. Now they are asking the Supreme Court to review that decision.

In his application, counsel for the applicants, Sheriff Tambadou reminded the court that his amended statement of case deals with the sentence of death and right to life. He submitted that his clients have expressed in exceptional circumstances for the court to review its decision dated 19 October 2012 and set aside the sentence.

Counsel further submitted that the conviction of each of his clients should be set aside or as an alternative the sentence of each of his client be reduced to a lesser sentence as no violence or death was carried out.

Responding to the submission made by the defence, the state chief prosecutor, Hadi Saleh Barkun contended that the applicants did not have enough evidence to convince the court as to why it should review its decision as earlier mentioned by the defence. 

The DPP cited sections of the law to buttress his point that despite no violence or death occurring, a legitimate government cannot be overthrown without violence. 

“The act committed by the applicants cannot be carried out without the use of violence. We submit that the international treaty cited by the defence is in contradiction with the existing laws of The Gambia. The international laws or treaties cited by the counsel cannot supersede domestic laws. The essence of the said laws or treaties is to guide but they cannot supersede over domestic laws,” he argued.

After listening to both parties, the court adjourned the matter to November 12 for ruling.

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