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Six military officers sentenced for Dec 30 State House attack

Apr 7, 2015, 11:32 AM

Six members of The Gambia Armed Forces have been sentenced by a General Court Martial for their involvement in the 30th December 2014 attack on the State House.

Their sentences range from 10 years imprisonment to life imprisonment and death.

A press release from the Defence Headquarters of the Gambia Armed Forces says the convicts include officers and a soldier.

They are Lieutenant Colonel Sarjo Jarju – 1st Accused, Captain Abdoulie Jobe– 2nd accused, Captain Buba K. Bojang – 3rd accused, Captain Amadou Sowe – 4th Accused, Lieutenant Buba Sanneh – 5th Accused and Private Modou Njie – the 6th accused.

According to the release, they faced up to 14 charges ranging from Treason to Security offenses contravening various sections of the Criminal Code Cap10:01 Volume III, Revised laws of The Gambia 2009 and The Gambia Armed Forces Act Cap 19:01 Volume IV, Revised laws of the Gambia, 2009.

The five-member Court Martial comprising a president and four other members who are senior officers from GAF sat from 5 February to 30 March 2015 at the Officers` Training Centre, Fajara Barracks.

Justice Emmanuel A Amadi – a high court judge at The Gambian Judiciary,was appointed as judge advocate, while the prosecution was led by the Director of Public Prosecution Mr S.H. Barkun assisted by two state counsels and the lawyer and legal officer at the Gambia Armed Forces, says the release.

All the accused were represented by lawyers sent by the National Agency for Legal Aid who were assisted by 3 senior Defence Officers from GAF.

The release explains that during the court sittings, proceedings were open to the public and family members.

However, given the sensitive nature of the case which borders on national security and defence and the category of persons involved, access to the proceedings were restricted to the media, says the release.

The move, the dispatch continues, is in accordance with the provision of The Gambia Armed Forces Act, Regulation 113, Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009.

The release says four counts were struck out by the court as they are offences related to mutiny under sections 45, 47(b) and 47 (d) of The Gambia Armed Forces Act Cap10:01, Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009. The 1st accused person - Lieutenant Colonel Sarjo Jarju was discharged on one count but sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on one count, 20 years imprisonment on one count, life imprisonment on 3 counts and to death on one count. Both the 2nd accused person Captain Abdoulie Jobe and the 3rd accused person Captain Buba K. Bojang were each discharged on one count but sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on one count, 20 years imprisonment on three counts, 25 years on one count and life imprisonment on one count.

The 4th accused person captain Amadou Sowe was sentenced to life imprisonment on two counts. The 5th accused person Lieutenant Buba Sanneh was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 1 count, 20 years imprisonment on 1 count, life imprisonment on 4 counts and to death on one count.

The 6th accused Private Njie Modou received a life imprisonment on one count and death on two counts. The sentences run concurrently, says the release.

The judgment (including the findings, conclusions and sentences) by the Court Marshal are recommendations which are subject to confirmation by the Convening Authority as provided in the Gambia Armed Forces Act, the release concludes.

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