Gambia: coup plotters convicted; On 19 April, 10 suspected coup plotters in The Gambia were sentenced between 10 years in jail to life imprisonment by a military court in the capital, Banjul, in mid April.

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The ex-army officers were convicted of attempting to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh's government in March 2006. The suspected mastermind of the coup, Colonel Ndure Cham, the former army chief of staff, fled the country after the 19 suspected plotters were arrested.

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But Captain Bunja Darboe, Captain Yaya Darboe, Captain Wassa Camara and Second Lieutenant Pharing Sanyang were all convicted on 19 April on five counts: namely counselling or procuring persons to commit mutiny; causing or conspiring with others to cause mutiny; mutiny, treason and conspiracy to commit treason. They were all found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

However, Captain Yaya Darboe was acquitted on count two, (causing or conspiring with others to cause mutiny contrary to section 47 (b) of The Gambia Armed Forces Act).

Captain Pierre J. Mendy, Captain Adboukarim Jah, Lieutenant Momodou Alieu Bah, Corporal Samba Bah, Lance Corporal Babou Janha and Private Alagie Nying were each convicted on three counts: failure to report mutiny, of treason and concealment of treason.

Captain Abdoukarim Jah was sentenced to 25 years in jail in respect of each of the three charges to run concurrently. Captain Pierre Mendy, Lieutenant Momodou Alieu Bah, Corporal Samba Bah, Lance Corporal Babou Janha and Private Alagie Nying were given 10 years in respect of each of the three charges to run concurrently.

President Jammeh, who came to power in a coup himself, was re-elected last September. Gambia has been relatively stable under him but his government has come under increasing criticism for...

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