By Gambian Correspondent – The state has finally preferred charges of treason against Dr Amadou Scatred Janneh, former communications minister.
The state also now announced the same treason charge against Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh, former president of the Gambia Press Union, Mathew K. Jallow, US-based Gambian, and one Famara Demba.
Dr. Janneh also faces a two-count charge of seditious acts alongside Michel C. Ucheh Thomas, Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow, all of whom were previously arraigned at the high court in Banjul.
During their appearance at the Special Criminal Court yesterday, both Janneh, Thomas, Keita and Ebrima Jallow denied the charges preferred against them.
However, Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K Jallow and Famara Demba are said to be out of the jurisdiction of the court.
State prosecutors accuse Dr. Janneh on count one of treason, stating that he conspired with Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K. Jallow, Famara Demba, and others at large on 26th May 2011 in diverse places in the Republic of The Gambia to overthrow the government of The Gambia.
Dr Janneh, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K. Jallow, and Famara Demba were also accused of preparing to overthrow the government of the Gambia by unlawful means on 26th May 2011 in diverse places in the Gambia and elsewhere.
On count three, prosecutors further charged Dr. Janneh, Modou Keita, Ebrima Jallow, and Micheal C. Ucheh Thomas with seditious acts.
Prosecutors said the four accused persons and others at large conspired amongst themselves on 26th May 2011 at diverse places in The Gambia to print and distribute 100 T-shirts which carried seditious statements to wit; “Coalition for Change the Gambia: End Dictatorship Now.”
Dr. Janneh, Modou Keita, Ebrima Jallow, Micheal C.Ucheh, and others at large are also accused to have on or about the 26th May 2011 at diverse places in the Republic of The Gambia with intent to cause or bring into hatred, contempt or excite disaffection against the person of the president or the government of The Gambia, printed and distributed 100 T-shirt carrying seditious statements to wit; “Coalition for Change the Gambia: End Dictatorship Now.”
Shortly after plea taking, state prosecutor applied for an adjournment in the case for hearing to commence by the next adjounment date.
Defence Counsel Lamin S Camara representing the accused persons did not raise any objection to the application, and the trial judge, Justice Joseph Ikpala, subsequently adjourned the case till 13th October 2011.
It would be recalled that Dr. Janneh and his co-accused were previously arraigned at the
Banjul Magistrate Court
charged with treason, conspiracy and sedition but the matter was later transferred to the high court, which has jurisdiction to hear the case.
Following their appearance at the high court, the prosecution, on two occasions, did not file substantial charges against the accused persons, until yesterday when they presented the charges.
Janneh, a former political science lecturer in the US and at one time a political and economic affairs officer at the US Embassy in Banjul, the Gambia.