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Ex-Info Minister Janneh appeals conviction

Feb 2, 2012, 1:05 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Former information minister Dr Amadou Scatred Janneh has filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence to life imprisonment last month, on charges of treason, by the high court in Banjul, his lawyer Lamin Camara has told this paper.

Dissatisfied with the high court’s verdict, Dr Janneh alongside three others, who were also convicted and sentenced to three years, want the superior court to overturn the high court’s decision.

Camara yesterday told The Point that he had filed a formal appeal last Thursday 27th January challenging the verdict, but did not elaborate on what date the appeal will be heard.

Dr Janneh, 49, it would be noted, was on 17th January convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of “trying to overthrow the democratically-elected government of The Gambia by unlawful means.”

Charged with two counts of treason and another two counts of sedition, Janneh was jailed alongside three others namely, Nigerian Michael C. Ucheh Thomas, 47, Modou Keita, 28, and Ebrima Jallow,  26, who were also charged with two counts of seditious acts.

The three each received three years imprisonment with hard labour.

Dr Janneh, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K. Jallow and Famara Demba were accused, among others, of conspiring among themselves on 26th May 2011 at diverse places in The Gambia, to print and distribute 100 T-shirts which carried a ‘seditious’ statement: “Coalition for Change - The Gambia: End Dictatorship Now.”

State prosecutors accused Dr Janneh on count one of treason, stating that he conspired with Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K Jallow, Famara Demba, and others at large, on 26th May 2011 in diverse places in The Gambia, to overthrow the Gambia government.

Dr Janneh, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K. Jallow, and Famara Demba were also accused of preparing to overthrow the government by unlawful means, and on count three, prosecutors further charged Dr Janneh, Modou Keita, Ebrima Jallow, and Micheal C. Ucheh Thomas with seditious acts.

Prosecutors said the four accused persons and others at large conspired to print and distribute 100 T-shirts which carried ‘seditious’ statements: “Coalition for Change - The Gambia: End Dictatorship Now.”

Dr Janneh and his co-accused were also charged with intent to cause or bring into hatred, contempt or excite disaffection against the person of the President or the Government of The Gambia, by printing and distributing 100 T-shirts.

Janneh, a former political science lecturer in the US, was at one time the political and economic affairs officer at the US Embassy in Banjul.