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Ex-Navy Commander Fofana appeals against conviction

Jun 28, 2013, 10:21 AM | Article By: Malamin ML Conteh

A three-member panel of judges of the Gambia Court of Appeal, headed by Justice Emmanuel Fagbele, yesterday adjourned the criminal appeal case filed by the former Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Sarjo Fofana.

Sarjo Fofona filed an appeal before the said court challenging the decision of the Special Criminal Court that convicted and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment on treasonable offences.

When the case was called in court, defence counsel L.K. Mboge announced his representation for the appellant, while Simon Abi, the deputy director of Special Litigation at the Attorney General’s Chambers, announced his representation for the state.

Counsel LK Mboge then notified the court that he was filing a parallel appeal to separate it from the 1st appellant’s appeal.

The judge then stated that since that was the case, they could not use the same record of proceedings that involved both him and Lang Tombong Tamba.

Based on those grounds, he should file a separate appeal, said the judge.

The case then adjourned to 11 July 2013, for him to file a parallel appeal.

Meanwhile, the criminal appeal case involving the jailed former chief of defence staff of the Gambia armed forces, Lang Tombong Tamba, was also adjourned recently by the appeal court to 16 October 2013, for the adoption of briefs filed by the parties.

Lang Tombong Tamba and Sarjo Fofona were convicted and sentenced by the Special Criminal Court in Banjul in May 2011, to 20 years imprisonment on four counts of treasonable offences, in connection with the 21st March 2006 abortive coup attempt, alleged to have been masterminded by the former chief of defence staff, Colonel Ndure Cham.

Tamba and Fofana were sentenced on count one, which was conspiracy to commit treason, to 20 years imprisonment and on count two, which was treason, to another 20 years imprisonment.

Lang Tombong Tamba was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on count three, concealment of treason, and on count four, concealment of treason, to another 10 years imprisonment

The charges preferred against the former senior military officers included conspiracy to commit treason, treason, and concealment of treason, charges which both men denied.