#Article (Archive)

Twist in case of internet post on Prophet of Islam

Aug 12, 2015, 12:09 PM | Article By: Yai Dibba & Fatou Jallow

There is a new twist in the case involving one Alagie Mam Seye, who earlier pleaded guilty to uttering words with intent to hurt religious feelings.

When the facts were narrated yesterday before principal magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court, the accused denied them.

This prompted the trial magistrate to adjourn the case for 17 and 20 August 2015, for trial.

According to the facts narrated by the police prosecutor, Sub-inspector E. Sarr, it happened on 11 May 2015, when detective CPL 3656 Nyassi received information that the accused person posted a caricature of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Facebook with a little girl sitting on his laps alleged to be 9 years of age.

Upon receiving that information by detective CPL 3656 Nyssi, the serious crime unit mounted an investigation through Facebook, which led them to the accused person at LaminDaranka village.

The accused person was arrested and taken to Old Yundum Police Station and later to the serious crime unit, where he was interrogated and confessed to doing the caricature on Facebook.

The accused was given access to the internet at the serious crime unit for him to open his Facebook account and his profile.

His profile was printed out in his presence, together with the comments of people from all over the world, as well as the picture posted in connection with that caricature.

He admitted at the serious crime unit that he posted the picture on Facebook.

At that juncture, the police prosecutor applied to tender the said printout comments of people from all over the world, together with the picture posted by him as an exhibit.

However, the accused, Alagie Mam Seye, objected to the tendering of the said document before the court, arguing that he never opened his Facebook account at the CID office.

He said he was arrested on 21 July 2014, and never had access to open his Facebook account.

When he was arrested by the CID officers, they told him that if he did not accept the allegation he would die in prison.

The accused then appealed for bail as he was under custody for 22 days without being given bail, adding that he has a family and wife with a 2-month-old baby.

The police prosecutor, Sub-Inspector E. Sarr, said if the accused was given bail, he might run away from the jurisdiction.

In his ruling, the magistrate told the court that because of the nature of the case, he could not grant the accused bail.

“I will not give you bail. I will remand you until the next adjournment date for full trial,” he said.

The case was adjourned until 17 and 20 August for trial.

The particulars of offence stated that on 11 July 2015, in Lamin village in the Kombo North district of the West Coast Region, the accused, Alagie Mam Seye, published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), knowing fully well that it would hurt the religious feelings of his followers, and thereby committed an offence.