Gambia UPDATE: Another setback in journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh’s case

The sedition trial of US-based Gambian journalist, Fatou Jaw Manneh took another twist when on November 28 at the High Court in Banjul the presiding judge, Justice Mabel Maame Yamoah said she does not have any clue of the case, thereby adjourning it to December 7, 2007.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that when the case was called, the judge ordered that the records of proceedings of both the BanjulBanjul and Kanifing Magistrate Courts be produced with regard to the appeal.

The State had earlier on filed an appeal against the ruling of the Banjul Banjul Magistrate Court on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to try Fatou’s case. Before the adjournment, the Prosecutor, Maley Wood, told the Court that she had contacted the assistant registrar at the BanjulBanjul Magistrate Court, who informed her that the typing of the records is yet to be completed.

Fatou Jaw Manneh, who was arrested on March 28, 2007 was standing trial on charges of sedition at the Kanifing Magistrate Court presided over by Magistrate Buba Jawo who later moved the case to BanjulBanjul after concluding that he did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

On 6 August, Magistrate Imelda Mboto of the Banjul Magistrate Court also ruled that her court could not try the journalist, on grounds that she does not have jurisdiction to hear the case. She ruled that the matter be heard by the Brikama Magistrate Court, a jurisdiction where Manneh was arrested. However, Fatou never appeared at the Brikama Magistrate Court.

Kwame Karikari, Prof.
Executive Director
Tel: 233-21-24 24 70
Fax: 233-21-22 10 84
Email: [email protected]

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