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State takes over Observer Editor, Mbye Bittaye trial

Apr 17, 2013, 9:09 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The state has taken over the case involving the deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Observer newspaper, Alagie Jobe, and one Mbye Bittaye before the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

State counsel A.M. Yusuf told the court yesterday presided over by Magistrate Hilary Abeke that the Attorney General’s Chambers was just taking over the matter, and that it was his first day to appear in the case.

He said he was craving the court’s indulgence to adjourn the case to enable them to read the case file thoroughly.

He then apologized for any inconvenience their application may cause to the court or another party.

Lawyer S. Gaye, who was representing the second accused person and holding brief for lawyer E. Jah, who is representing the first accused, told the court that they were not opposing the application.

However, he stated, the first accused was in remand custody, adding that any adjournment could only be granted for one week.

He argued that the previous prosecutor, Superintendent Joof, who was in the case, had indicated before that the case file was sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers for advice.

He said it was his submission that the AG’s Chambers was familiar with the case, adding that he hoped that by the next adjourned date, the prosecution would be ready to proceed.

He finally applied for the cautionary and voluntary statements to be served to the defence.

Magistrate Abeke then reminded him that an order by the court was made for the voluntary and cautionary statements to be served to the defence.

A.M. Yusuf, the state counsel, assured the court that the said voluntary and cautionary statements would be served to the defence.

Magistrate Abeke then told the court that the order refusing bail for the first accused was extended, adding that the second accused, Mbye Bittaye, was granted bail by the high court.

The case was then adjourned to 23 April 2013, for hearing.

Alhagie Jobe was charged with seven accounts of making an act with a seditious intention, seditious publication, possession of seditious publication, forgery, making documents without authority, false information and reckless and negligent act, while Mbye Bittaye was charged with unlawful inquiries relating to the possibility of forgery.

Count one of the charge sheet read that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, did an act with seditious intention to wit: published in a purported Daily Observer Newspaper of 19 December 2012, a false story that “Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people” and thereby committed an offence.

Count two stated that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, published a seditious publication on a purported Daily Observer Newspaper of 19 December 2012 to wit: that “Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people”, and thereby committed an offence.

Count three indicated that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Newspaper Company, in the Kanifing Municipality and other various places in The Gambia, without lawful excuse had in possession a seditious publication, and thereby committed an offence.

Count four read that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, made a false document with intent to deceive purporting it to be a Daily Observer Newspaper of Wednesday 19 December 2012, thereby committed an offence.

Count five disclosed that Alhagie Jobe, in February 2013, at the NIA office Banjul, informed a panel of investigation that Assan Sallah, Madikhan Jobarteh and Mariama Danjo are involved in seditious publication, information which he knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.

Count six read that Mbye Bittaye, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, made inquiries in the Daily Observer Company with intent to make a forged document on behalf of Lamin Touray and was published in the Daily Observer Newspaper that “Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and is charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes for refusing to take orders in the execution of some people” and printed and published the same in the Daily Observer Newspaper of 12 December 2012 edition, with intent to deceive, thereby committed an offence.

On count seven, the particulars of offence disclosed that Alhagie Jobe, between 2012 and 2013, at the Daily Observer Company, in the Kanifing Municipality, with intent to deceive and without lawful authority made a document purporting it to be a Daily Observer Newspaper of Wednesday 19 December 2012, and thereby committed an offence.

Count eight stated that Alhagie Jobe, on 8 February 2013, at Tallinding, in the Kanifing Municipality, drove a vehicle bearing registration number Observer 2, on the Tallinding Primary School Highway, in a manner so rash as to endanger human life, and thereby committed an offence.

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