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Tamba & co at appeal court again

Mar 1, 2012, 1:09 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Lang Tombong Tamba the jailed former chief of defence staff, six other senior security officers and a local businessman, convicted for treason and sentenced to death by the high court in Banjul in 2010 have re-appeared before the Gambia Court of Appeal, which last year dismissed an appeal filed by them.

Lang Tombong Tamba, Omar Bun Mbye, Lamin Bo Badjie, Modou Gaye, Gibril Ngorr Secka, Kawsu Camara (alias Bombardier) and Abdoulie Joof, a local business tycoon, yesterday appeared before the court of appeal in Banjul, where the Director of Public Prosecutions, M. Abdullahi, reminded the three-member panel of judges that the matter at hand had been determined by the same court since 14 April 2011.

“The court has already determined your case. Now you must file your appeal at the Supreme Court,” Justice Wowo assisted by Justice Na Ceesay Sallah and Justice Amie Joof told the appellants.

Modou Gaye, former deputy Inspector General of Police also rose from his seat, and said, “we were informed that the matter is already at the Supreme Court. So we are surprised why they brought us here.”

Justice Wowo then struck out the appeal from the court, and said it is the Supreme Court that can determine the case.

Recast

Readers would recall that the convicts were arraigned at the high court in Banjul on 19th March 2010, and the trial commenced on 22nd March 2010. It lasted for nearly five months.

The indictment stated among others that the accused persons between January and December 2009 procured arms, ammunition, equipment and mercenaries from Guinea Conakry and other places to stage a coup and overthrow the democratically-elected government of The Gambia.

During the course of proceedings at the High Court, the prosecution called 15 witnesses.

Following the closure of the prosecution case, counsel representing the accused persons opted to file a no-case-to-answer submission, which was overruled by Justice Amadi, who called on the accused persons to open their defence.

The accused opened their defence and after completion of their defence testimony, both the defence counsel and state prosecutor addressed the court.

About death penalty

According to records, since independence the death penalty was only carried out once in The Gambia. This was in 1981, after the abortive coup attempt led by Kukoi Samba Sanyang.

The person executed was Mustapha Danso, a convicted paramilitary officer, for his part in the killings which occurred during the coup attempt.

However, a few years later, the death penalty was abolished, during the First Republic. The death penalty was re-introduced early in the Second Republic, in August 1995, but has never been carried out to date.

Meanwhile, the appeal court in their bid to hear 164 within this week, has heard several appeals but many appeal are not yet proper before the court due to the non availability of records of proceeding from various lower courts.

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