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Ex-Military chiefs treason trial adjourned

Jun 28, 2010, 12:00 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The four-count treasonable indictment against the top ex-military chiefs, Lt. General Lang Tombong Tamba, the erstwhile Chief of Defence Staff and Rear Admiral Sajor Fofana, the ex-Naval Chief could not proceed as scheduled at the Special Criminal Court of the High Court in Banjul last Friday.

Lt. Gen. Tamba, who claimed to have led some loyal officers and soldiers to foil the 2006 coup attempt, and ex-navy commander Sarjo Fofana, who was the President of 2006 General Court Martial, are facing on four counts of treasonable charges in connection to the 21st March 2006 fail abortive coup attempt.

The top ex-military chiefs, it could be recalled were first arraigned on Friday 18th June 2010 before the high court, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Joseph Ikpala.

The accused persons were seen in court with one of the counsel, SM Tambedou. But, neither the judge, nor the state prosecutors were present in court.

However, it was later announced that the trial has been adjourned to 1st July 2010, and no reason was advanced for the unexplained adjournment.

SM Tambedou, one of the defence counsel when approached to shed light on the adjournment said the state has sent State Counsel Yusuf with a notice to the court, requesting for an adjournment.

Lt. Gen Tamba is already on trial alongside seven others for his alleged part in a failed coup plot last year, before Justice Emmanuel Amadi at the high court.

In connection with the March 2006 foiled coup attempt, it would be recalled that following their conviction, some military officers, Capt. Bunja Darboe, Capt. Wassa Camara, Capt. Yahya Darboe, and 2nd Lt. Pharing Sanyang were sentenced to life imprisonment each. Capt Abdou Karim Jah, Lt Momodou Alieu Bah and Cpl Samba Bah were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment each. Captain Pierre John Mendy, L/ Cpl Babou Janha and Private Alhagie Nying were also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each, after being convicted for their involvement in the March 2006 coup attempt. Lt. Momodou Alieu Bah was, however, released on the 29th November 2009, and subsequently reinstated in the armed forces. The civilians who were tried by the high court for their involvement in the 21st March 2006 foiled coup were Tamsir Jasseh, Alieu Jobe, and Omar Faal Keita. They were convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each, while Hon. Demba Dem was acquitted and discharged.