panel of the general Court-Martial presided over by Colonel Salifu Bojang,
president of court-martial will today Monday May 27th 2019 sentence eight soldiers, who are found guilty of treason, while two were found guilty
of mutiny among others related offences.
The court-martial on Friday 24th May at the Yundum Barrack found six soldiers guilty of treason, alongside two others in other related offences ranging from treason to munity among others. The soldiers are; Captain Yahya B. Jammeh, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju, Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh, Sergeant Baboucarr Sanneh, Sergeant Malick Bojang, Lance Corporal Abba Badjie, Private Mbemba Camara and Private Alieu Sanneh.
The court also discharged the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th accused persons on all the charges. Those discharge were, Corporal Sulayman Sanyang, Corporal Lamin Gibba, Corporal Ebrima Jallow and Lance Corporal Samboujang Bojang
Upon delivering the verdict, the discharged soldiers as well as their loved ones burst into tears.
When the case was called, Lawyer MB Abubacarr and Lieutenant B. Sanneh appeared for the State, while Lawyer Sheriff Kumba Jobe, Lieutenant Commander Alieu Sanneh, Navy Lieutenant William Demba, Captain Cham Samateh, Captain Modou Demba and Captain Kebba Jabbi represented the accused persons.
Before passing judgment, Counsel MB Abubacarr, the prosecuting officer, urged the court to convict the accused persons accordingly, as the charges they had been found culpable.
However, Defense Lawyer, Sheriff Kumba Jobe on behalf of the defense team, beseeches the court to tamper justice with mercy, saying the accused persons are first time offenders.
Delivering his judgment, Colonel Salifu Bojang, the President of the court-martial said the trial was initiated under The Gambia Armed Forces Act (GAF Act) and its subsidiary legislation.
“The court does not consider the statements of the accused persons as a confession,” he stated, adding that they relied on Section 122 of the GAF Act relating to arrest, keeping in custody, investigation of charges, trial and punishment by a court-martial among other things”.
It could be recalled that the 12 soldiers were arrested in 2017 for alleged WhatsApp recorded meetings about overthrowing the government of The Gambia. They were slammed with 9 counts namely: treason, incitement to mutiny, failure to report mutiny, conspiracy to commit mutiny, endeavoring to persuade members of the Gambia Armed Forces to take part in mutiny, negligent or willful interference with lawful custody, connivance of desertion, and negligent interference with lawful custody. The case was then adjourned to today at 12:30 pm for sentencing.