Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Court Martial Sentences 7 Soldiers to 9 Years Imprisonment

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By Yankuba Jallow

The General Court-Martial in the case involving 12 soldiers facing 9 criminal counts including treason on Monday sentenced 7 soldiers to 9 years imprisonment.

The accused persons were arrested in July 2017 in relation to a WhatsApp group created to commit treason by arresting cabinet ministers, the Chief of Defense Staff and battalion commanders as well as to attack the ECOMIG.

Photo: Captain Yaya B. Jammeh

On count 1, which was a treason charge, the court found Captain Yaya B. Jammeh, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju, Lieutenant Yaya Jammeh, Sergeant Baboucarr Sanneh, Sergeant Malick Bojang, Lance Corporal Abba Badjie and Private Mbemba Camara guilty and sentenced them to 9 years imprisonment. Also, the court sentenced Private Alieu Sanneh to 3 years imprisonment on this count.

On count two, which is ‘incitement to mutiny’, the court sentenced Captain Yaya Jammeh, Sergeant Baboucarr Sanneh, Lance Corporal Abba Badjie and Private Mbemba Camara to 7 years imprisonment. The court also sentenced Private Alieu Sanneh to 3 years imprisonment on this count.

On count three, the charge was failure to report mutiny, the court sentenced Captain Yahya B. Jammeh, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju, Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh, Sergeant Baboucarr Sanneh, Sergeant Malick Bojang, Lance Corporal Abba Badjie and Private Mbemba Camara to 5 years imprisonment. Private Alieu Sanneh was convicted to a jail term of 3 years on this count.

Count 4: the charge was conspiracy to commit mutiny, the court sentenced Captain Yahya B. Jammeh, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju, Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh, Sergeant Baboucarr Sanneh, Sergeant Malick Bojang, Lance Corporal Abba Badjie and Private Mbemba Camara to 7 years imprisonment. Private Alieu Sanneh was convicted to a jail term of 3 years on this count.

Arrival of 12 accused

Count 5: the charge was endeavouring to persuade members of GAF to take part in mutiny; the court sentenced Lance Corporal Abba Badjie to a term of 8 years imprisonment.

The accused persons charged on counts 6, 7, 8 and 9 were all acquitted and discharged by the court martial. The charges were Negligent or willful interference with lawful custody and Connivance of Desertion.

The soldiers who were acquitted and discharged of all the charges that they faced were Corporal Sulayman Sanyang, Corporal Lamin Gibba, Corporal Ebrima Jallow and Lance Corporal Samboujang Bojang.

In their holding, the court-martial indicated that all sentences will run concurrently starting from the date of their arrest.

Readers will recall that 10 of the accused persons were alleged to have created a WhatsApp group with the sole intention of committing treason and other felonious offences. The two other accused persons were charged in relation to the escape of Sergeant Yusupha Jatta.

The court-martial’s President, Colonel Salifu Bojang said the decision was a unanimous one.

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