By Mamadou Dem
The defense counsel representing the two journalists standing trial on publication of false news and conspiracy to commit misdemeanor yesterday, Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 informed the Banjul Magistrates’ court that they intend to file a ‘No case to answer’ submission.
Lawyer Lamin Camara said this before Magistrate Muhammed Krubally after the prosecutor, ASP Musa Camara, announced that they will be closing their case after calling the last witness to testify.
Sainey Marena, a freelance journalist, and Musa Sheriff, editor and proprietor of the Voice Newspaper, are on trial at the Banjul Magistrates Court on two counts of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor and publication of false news. They are accused of conspiring and publishing on the newspaper that “19 Green Youths joined the opposition UDP on 6 December 2013 after knowing that the said publication was likely to cause fear to the public or disturb the public peace.” They pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, testifying as the prosecution’s last witness, Lamin Sanyang, the eight prosecution witness, told the court that he lives at Tanji and is a ‘green boy’. He recalled 30 November 2013 as a day when he went to the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) with other fourteen ‘green youth.’
Under cross examination by counsel Camara, the witness said all the 15 green youth that were with him are residents of Tanji. “How long were you at KMC?” asked counsel. The witness replied that they spent three months at KMC.
When the defence counsel asked the witness whether they have a register of the 15 people at KMC, PW8 responded in the negative. He also said he did not keep an entry of their exit when counsel posed a question as to whether they kept a register of their movements.
Earlier on Monday, the court heard the testimonies of Sainey Colley and Modou Sanyang of Tanji Village as the sixth and seven prosecution witnesses, respectively.
PW 6 Mr. Colley, in his testimony, told the Court that he lives in Tanji and is a tailor by profession. He said he is also a member of the ‘green youth’. He said on the 30 November, he was at Brikama with fourteen other ‘green youth members. He said they are originally from Tanji, but are currently staying at Brikama.
Under cross-examination lawyer Lamin Camara put it to the witness that the 14 green youth members mentioned by him are permanently residing in Brikama and the witness replied in the affirmative.
PW7 Mr. Sanyang, also a native of Tanji Village and a green youth, testified that on the 30 November 2013 he was at Kanilai together with twenty ‘green youth.’
Hearing will resume today for the defense to file a ‘no case to answer’ submission.