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Friday, February 23, 2024

Yankuba Darboe’s sedition trial set for today

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By Alagie Manneh

The sedition trial of lawyer Yankuba Darboe, a political activist and leading member of the banned Three Years Jotna group, will be heard in a magistrates’ court in Banjul today.

Mr Darboe was accused of sedition and insulting the judiciary when he made a torrid outburst condemning the “abuse of the judiciary” in the wake of the re-arrest and re-trial of the 3YJ 8.

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Immediately following a discharge order at the Banjul magistrates’ court in February, riot police outside the court re-arrested and charged members of the 3YJ8 with the same charges the court freed them of.

Many including leading lawyers condemned the re-arrest as an “abuse of the due process of the law”.

Yesterday morning, Darboe reported back to police as part of his bail condition and, after some 30 minutes at the serious crimes unit at police headquarters in Banjul, was freed to go home but told that his trial begins Tuesday.

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He told The Standard that a clause for ‘insulting the judiciary’ – which he said is political – is not in the law books.

“It doesn’t exist in law so they are using contempt of court instead,” Mr Darboe said.

He said the crime is a misdemeanour.

“I will take my plea and maybe a bail will be granted, again.”

He said the burden is on the prosecution to prove its case beyond doubt.

“We do not think that whatever they are alleging, was what I intended and as a result we are denying the allegations,” Darboe said.

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