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Defence urges court to discharge Observer editor, Mbye Bittaye

Mar 27, 2013, 10:34 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye & Isatou Senghore-Njie

Defence counsel S. Gaye yesterday urged the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court to discharge Observer editor Alagie Jobe, and Mbye Bittaye, an Africell employee.

Lawyer S. Gaye made this remark following the application made by the police prosecutor, Superintendent Joof, to adjourn the case.

Prosecutor Joof told the court earlier that he was applying to tender a written consent from the Attorney General to prosecute the accused persons.

He adduced further that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was reading the case file, and had not concluded doing so.

He said this was why he was applying for an adjournment.

Lawyer S. Gaye responded that the written consent from the Attorney General should be limited to the first accused, Alagie Jobe, who was charged with sedition and his client, Mbye Bittaye, should not be included because he was not charged with sedition.

He added that the prosecution was not serious with the case, citing Section 165 (1) of the CPC to support his argument.

Counsel Gaye further stated that since the accused persons were remanded at Mile 2 Prisons, they should be brought back to court after a period of one week.

He said the prosecutor did not know how long it would take the DPP to conclude reading the case file, and that the DPP had nothing to do with the case because the case was the IGP versus the accused persons.

Lawyer E. Jah added his voice, and told the court to apply the one-week rule for remanded accused persons to be taken to court.

He said his client, Alagie Jobe, was under detention for more than 30 days and Mbye Bittaye had been in detention since 5 March 2013.

He argued that their rights had been violated, and justice had not been done to them.

Prosecutor Joof agreed with the submission made by counsel that the accused persons should be brought back to court after one week.

Magistrate Abeke then adjourned the case till 2 April 2013, for hearing.

Earlier in his ruling on granting bail to the accused persons, he told the court that he had gone through the submissions of the defence counsel and the authorities they cited, and the argument by the prosecutor.

He said the previous ruling he made not to grant bail to the accused persons stands.

Alhagie Jobe was arraigned on a six-count charge of seditious intent, seditious publication, possession of seditious publication, giving false information to a public officer, forgery, making document without authority, while Mbye Bittaye was charged with unlawful inquiries relating to possibility of forgery; charges they have denied.

The particulars of offence on count one stated that the 1st accused, Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, whilst employed as deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Observer Company, published in the said newspaper on 19 December 2012 edition that “Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes by refusing to take orders in execution of some people,” with intent to bring hatred and to incite disaffection against the person of the President of the Republic of The Gambia and the Government of The Gambia, thereby committed an offence.

Count two stated that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, whilst employed as deputy chief editor of the Daily Observer Company, published on the Daily Observer newspaper of 19 December edition that, “Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention, and charged in absentia for breach of ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people,” the publication he made to bring hatred and to incite disaffection against the person of the President of the Republic of The Gambia and the Government of The Gambia, thereby committed an offence.

Count three stated that Alhagie Jobe on the said year and place was found in possession of a publication of the Daily Observer newspaper of 19 December 2012 edition with the inscription that, “Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people,” a publication which sought to bring about hatred and to incite disaffection against the person of the President of the Republic of The Gambia and the Government of The Gambia, thereby committed an offence.

Count four read that Alhagie Jobe on the said year at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, gave false information to the management of the Daily Observer and the general public by publishing in the said newspaper of 12 December 2012 that “Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and was charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes for refusing to take orders in the execution of some people,” the publication which he knew was false and untrue, thereby committed an offence.

Count five stated that Alhagie Jobe, in the said year, at the Daily Observer Company in the Kanifing Municipality, he forged a document in which he stated that “Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes for refusing to take orders in the execution of some people” and printed and published the same in the Daily Observer newspaper of 12 December 2012 edition, thereby committed an offence.

Count six stated that Alhagie Jobe, on the said year, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, made a document in which he stated that “Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes for refusing to take orders in the execution of some people” and printed and published the same Daily Observer newspaper of 12 December 2012 edition, with intent to deceive, thereby committed an offence.

Count seven stated that the 2nd accused, Mbye Bittaye, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, made inquiries in the said newspaper with intent to make a forged document on behalf of Lamin Touray and was published in the Daily Observer newspaper that “Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes for refusing to take orders in the execution of some people and printed and published the same in the Daily Observer newspaper of 12 December 2012 edition, with intent to deceive, thereby committed an offence.

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