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Arrest warrant for Today Newspaper Editor-in-chief

Jun 21, 2012, 1:43 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Principal Magistrate Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday ordered the arrest of Abdulhamid Adiamoh, editor-in-chief of Today, and for him to be brought before the court to show cause why he should not be charged with contempt of court.

The order followed a complaint made by the defence counsel, Badou S.M. Conteh, that the article carried by the Today newspaper made personal attacks on him, while he was doing his job as a defence counsel in the case.

Lawyer Badou S.M. Conteh is defending Dr. Gumbo Ali Touray, who is standing trial at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court charged with the offence of giving false information to a public officer.

Though the said article was not bearing any byline, the editor in-chief would be in a position to tell the court where he got his or her facts, counsel added.

Counsel submitted that the court could bear witness that he was doing his cross-examination of the witness based on the documents before the court; and so it would not be proper for a responsible journalist to carry this kind of article in his newspaper.

“We all know the journalists are doing a very important job in the society, but equally it would not be fair for the journalist to personally attack me as a counsel, instead of write what had happened in court,” he said.

He added that somebody used Today newspaper to personally attack him as counsel, when he was doing his job, as expected of him, to defend his client to the best of his ability.

He applied to tender the copy of the said newspaper dated 19th June 2012, it was admitted and marked as a defence exhibit. 

 In his ruling, the trial magistrate ordered that the author of the article be arrested, and brought before him to show cause why he should not be charged with contempt of court.