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Lang Tombong & Co appear at Supreme Court

Nov 5, 2014, 10:40 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Defence Counsel in the case involving Lt General Lang Tombong Tamba and Co Tuesday urged the seven-member panel of judges of the Supreme Court of The Gambia to set aside the conviction of the applicants and their death sentences, or the sentences be reduced to a lesser sentence.

The jailed former chief of defence staff of the Gambia armed forces, Lt General Lang Tombong Tamba, Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye, former director of operations and training at GAF, Col. Lamin Bo Badjie, former NIA director, 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, were convicted by the high court in Banjul for conspiracy and treason on 15 July 2010,and sentenced to death.

They filed an appeal at the Supreme Court for a review of their case file.

When the case was called yesterday, the defence counsel, SM Tambedou, said the applicants had filed a further amended statement on 24 March 2014, praying for the Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision dated 19 October 2012.

Counsel said the applicants were convicted for conspiracy and treason by the high court on 15 July 2010 and sentenced to death.

The applicants seek in the review for the Supreme Court to set aside that judgment and the sentence of the applicants.

“We submit that exceptional circumstances exist for the court to review the judgment of 19 October 2012,” counsel said.

Counsel also said the applicants relied on the said amendment statement case file which the application brought containing the 5th applicant, Lt General Lang Tombong Tamba, heard on 15 November 2011 and his additional affidavit sworn to on November 2013.

The amendment statement of the case deals with the right to life and the sentence, while the further amendment statement case deals with the conviction.

“I submit that the applicants have demonstrated exceptional circumstances which should benefit them by the Supreme Court reviewing the judgement dated 19 October 2012. I urge the court to set aside the conviction of the applicants and the death sentence,” counsel said.

“I pray that the conviction of each of the applicants be set aside; alternatively the death sentence on each of the applicants be reduced to a lesser sentence.”

Counsel added that the facts of the case showed that no actual violence or deaths occurred.

“I want to bring to the attention of the court that the National Assembly has not reviewed the death sentence for the past ten years,” Counsel Tambedou also stated.

He said the 1997 constitution is the voice of the Gambian people, and the Gambian people agreed to the death sentence for a period of ten years, and for this to be reviewed after that.

The court should not ignore the fact that the National Assembly failed to review the death sentence, and since it was not reviewed it should not be applied.

In response, DPP Barkum said the respondent statement of fact was dated 26 March 2014 and filed on the same date.

He said they have enumerated two issues: One is whether there exist any exceptional circumstances which warrant a review; and the other is whether any important evidence was uncovered.

At this juncture, the court adjourned to continue sitting today.