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3 soldiers sentenced to death, 3 get life in prison

Apr 1, 2015, 5:12 PM | Article By: Lamin Jahateh

Col Mamadou Sowe, president of the Gambia court martial, assisted by Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the Supreme Court and Advocate Judge of the Court Martial, has sentenced Lt Col Saikou Jarju, Lieutenant Sanneh, and Private Momodou Njie to death, The Point has gathered.

Family sources added that Captain Buba K. Bojang, Lieutenant Sowe and Captain Abdoulie Jobe were sentenced to life in prison.

The soldiers were convicted and sentenced accordingly for their roles in the attack on the State House in Banjul on 30 December 2014. 

They were charged on a total of fourteen counts between them, ranging from attempting to overthrow government by illegal means, conspiracy to commit treason, concealment of treason, mutiny, assisting the enemy among other counts.

The press was denied access to cover the trial, which commenced on 10 February 2015 at the Fajara Barracks in Bakau. Only some family members of the soldiers were allowed to witness the proceedings.

The convicts have about 30 days to appeal the judgment at the Gambia Court of Appeal. 

In April 2011, the court of appeal upheld the death sentences of Lang Tombong and six other senior officers for plotting a coup in 2009; the earlier judgment was delivered by the high court.

In August 2012, the Gambia government executed nine death-row inmates; the first executions in nearly 34 years. 

But President Jammeh later placed a moratorium on the execution after it sparked international outrage.

Moustapha Danso was the first Gambian sentenced and executed in August 1981 after the July 30th 1981 abortive coup attempt staged by the late Kukoi Samba Sanyang. At the time, Sir Dawda Jawara was president of The Gambia.