Nov 19, 2008, 7:43 AM
Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle of the Banjul High Court yesterday delivered judgement in the trial of the six Gambian journalists: Ebrima Sawaneh, Pap Saine, Sarata Jabbi- Dibba, Pa Modou Faal, Sam Sarr and Bai Emil Touray. All of them were convicted on charges ranging from conspiracy to publish seditious publications, publishing seditious publication, publishing seditious publication, read together with Section 52 (1), conspiracy to commit criminal defamation and two counts of criminal defamation.
After perusing and considering both evidences of the prosecution and defence, Justice Fagbenle stated that he was of the belief that the prosecution had proven their case on all charges preferred against the accused persons, and accordingly convicted them under Section 52-(A), 52-(C), 178 and 368 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Laws of The Gambia.
Following the conviction, Justice Fagbenle sentenced the convicts on count one, to a mandatory jail term of 2 years in prison, without an option of a fine.
On count two, the accused persons were sentenced to a fine of D250, 000 each, in default to serve 2 years in prison.
On count three, the accused were fined D250, 000 each or 2 years in prison, and on count four, five and six, respectively, they were each given on each count a mandatory jail term of two years in prison.
The sentences to run concurrently.
It would be recalled that the 5th accused, Abubacarr Saidykhan, who was arrested for attempting to take snap of a photograph while the NIA were effecting arrest of the sixth accused Sam Sarr, was earlier acquitted and discharged on the basis of a 'No-case-submission' by the Defence Counsel.