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Revelations in UDP militant’s trial

Mar 6, 2014, 9:16 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

There were revelations yesterday in the trial of Lansana Jobarteh,a militant of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), at the Bundung Magistrates’ Court before principal magistrate Ibrahim Kijera.

The accused person, Lansana Jobarteh, was charged with broadcasting without a license contrary to the Information and Communication Act.

The accusation was that between 14 and 15 December 2013, while attending UDP political rallies at Buffer Zone in the KMC, Brikama and diverse places, Jobarteh talked on Skype using an IPOD and sent information abroad without a broadcasting licence,and thereby committed an offence.

In his testimony, Saikou Sonko of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), said on 14 December 2013 he was given the assignment to monitor the Freedom Radio online.

“During the course of the monitoring, I heard the voice of Pa Nderry Mbai, speaking to one Mr Jobarteh here in The Gambia,” he said.

Sonko added that Mr Jobarteh was narrating how the rally was going, and that from the background one could hear the voice of the various speakers, and the person speaking, and this was at the rallies held at the Buffer Zone on 14 December 2013, and on 15 December 2013 at Brikama.

Designated as the second prosecution witness, Sonko said he could hear Pa Nderry Mbai saying, “hello, hello Mr Jobarteh”.

Sonko further told the court that on 15 December 2013, he was assigned to listen to Freedom Radio as there was an article pasted on Freedom Newspaper concerning the arrest of Mr Jobarteh.

Sonko added that he read that Mr Jobarteh was arrested, and made a print-out of the article.

At that juncture, the witness identified the article, and the prosecutor applied to tender it in evidence as an exhibit.

Defence counsel Ousainou Darboe raised an objection to the application.

He argued that the document was a computer-generated document, and there are conditions stated in the Evidence Act that must be satisfied.

The prosecutor, in response, said they also rely on the Evidence Act, adding that the document sought to be tendered was relevant to the case of the prosecution.

The case was then adjourned to 13 March 2014, for ruling and continuation.