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Opposition Sympathizers Freed

May 23, 2008, 4:35 AM | Article By: By A.Nyockeh

Three of the five sympathizers of the main opposition United Democratic Party, who were jointly charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, yesterday heaved a sigh of relief when they were informed by a Western Region-based lower court that they were free from the charges.

Doudou Cassa Jaata, Maimuna Jobarteh and Natoma Conteh were among the opposition supporters that were rounded up shortly after the results were announced in the 2006 bye-election in Kombo East constituency. Some of them were whisked away to a police station a few kilometres away, and subsequently charged with assault, causing actual bodily harm.

Meanwhile before acquitting and discharging the trio of the charges, magistrate John Njie of the Brikama Magistrates' Court pointed out that the acquittal and discharge of the opposition supporters was based on absence or dearth of evidence before the court, to warrant a conviction.

In a separate development, the trial of Lamin R. Darboe jointly charged with the three acquitted UDP supporters, resumed yesterday at the Brikama Magistrates' Court but could not continue as billed.

The case is expected to resume next Monday.