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City of Banjul
Friday, October 15, 2021

UDP’s Lasana Jobarteh convicted

Jobarteh, 59, was sentenced to a fine of D50,000 in default to serve one year in prison by Magistrate Isatou Janneh. However, his lawyer, Ousainou Darboe, successfully appealed for a suspension of the sentence until August 4 and an extension of his bail. She ruled that Mr Jobarteh should pay the fine by August 4 or he will be sent to prison.

Mr Jobarteh, an audio visual expert, was on trial on a count of broadcasting without a licence. He was accused of giving information abroad using Skype while attending UDP political rallies at Tallinding and Brikama. He denied any wrong doing.

“I find the prosecution has proved its case against the accused person with certainty required by law and the accused is found guilty and accordingly convicted as charged,” Magistrate Janneh stated. “I therefore resolve this issue in favour of the prosecution,” she said.

She stated that Mr Jobarteh admitted in his voluntary and cautionary statements that he had talked to both Freedom and Kibaro online newspapers and linked them with UDP supporters and that fact was not challenged by his lawyer. She said the programme the accused transmitted was aimed for reception by the public.

Throughout the trial, Mr Jobarteh maintained his innocence and said he did not broadcast anything through the medium of television or radio. Two witnesses, both personnel of the National Intelligence Agency, testified for the prosecution. But the defence lawyer told the court that none of the witnesses linked his client to the said charge  

When Mr Jobarteh was announced guilty, his lawyer said the alleged offence committed was not an offence of violence and has not impacted negatively on society.

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