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Lang and co appeal to Supreme Court

May 12, 2011, 3:21 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The jailed former chief of defence staff of the Gambia Armed Forces, Lt General Lang Tombong Tamba and six others have filed another appeal, this time at the Supreme Court of The Gambia.

It would be recalled that Tamba and co. were in July 2010 convicted and sentenced to death by the high court in Banjul for plotting to overthrow the Gambia government of the Gambia.

They subsequently filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal, which recently dismissed their appeal.

The other appellants are namely, Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye, former Director of Operations and Training at GAF, Col. Lamin Bo Badjie, former Chief of the NIA, Modou Gaye, former Deputy IGP, Gibril Ngorr Secka, former Deputy Gambian Ambassador to Guinea Bissau, Lt. Col. Kawsu Camara (alias Bombardier) former Commander of Kanilai Camp and Abdoulie Joof, a businessman.

They are now going further to the Supreme Court of The Gambia to challenge the decision of the court of appeal.

Headed by the Chief Justice of The Gambia, the Supreme Court sits two to three times in a year, and is now expected to hear the appeal when it resumes sitting.

This was announced by Lawyer Sheriff M Tambedou, representing the accused persons, who told this reporter yesterday that the convicted men have decided to challenge the appeal court’s verdict.

“All of them have filed their appeals separately at the Supreme Court of The Gambia. Tamba, Kawsu Camara and Joof filed their appeals on Tuesday, while the rest of them filed their appeals since last week,” Tambedou added.

The convicted persons were first arraigned at the high court in Banjul on 19th March 2010 on treason charges, and the trial proper commenced on 22nd March and lasted for nearly five months.

The indictment stated that the convicted persons between January and December 2009 procured arms, ammunition, equipment and mercenaries from Guinea Conakry and other places to stage a coup and overthrow the democratically elected government of The Gambia.

During the proceedings at the high court, the prosecution called 16 witnesses including serving military officers, GSM company officials (Gamcel, Qcell, Comium and Africell), and a student, among others.

Following the closure of the prosecution’s case, the lawyer representing the accused persons filed a no-case-to-answer submission, which was overruled by presiding judge, Justice Amadi, who called on the accused persons to open their defence.

The accused persons subsequently opened their defence, but did not call any witnesses.

After their testimonies, both the defence and state prosecutor addressed the court.

In a judgment delivered on 15th July 2010, Justice Amadi convicted and sentenced all the accused persons to death.

Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, the convicted persons filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Joseph Wowo as president of the court, Justice J.B Kailile and Justice Na Ceesay Sallah-Wadda.

The court of appeal in a judgment delivered by Justice Wowo on the 14th April 2011 dismissed the appeal.