The trial on “false publication with intent to cause fear to the public and conspiracy to commit misdemeanor” involving journalists Sainey MK Marenah, Freelance Journalist and Musa S Sheriff, Editor in Chief of The Voice Newspaper on Monday 18 August 2014 continue at the Banjul Magistrate court before Magistrate Muhammed Krubally with the testimony of fifth prosecution witness, One Malang Jassey, who described himself as ‘Mobilizer of Tanji Green Youths.’
During his evidence in chief, the witness said on the 3rd of December 2013, he was at the president farm in Batokunku adding: “ that very week, I was called by the alkalo’s son, Lamin Bojang and asked me whether I was aware that the “Voice Newspaper” published that 19th Green Youths defected from APRC to UDP.
According to the witness, upon receiving the information, he told Bojang that would sound very strange to him because he (Jassey) went to the town looking for more green youths as they were only eight at the President’s farm in Batokunku but he couldn’t find any but he was later made to understand by their secretary Manlafi Bojang that the other green youths members were in Kanilai, Brikama and Kanfing respectively.
Counsel for the accused persons Lamin Camara cross-examined the witness. “It is correct that you do not actually and personally know about the presence of members of the other 50 green youths in Tanji because you were told by Malafi Bojang that they were else were?” “Yes,” replied the witness.
“Mr. Jassey, you did not know about what was allegedly reported on the newspaper because Manlafi Bojang told you,” asked counsel? “Yes,” the witness responded. “You said you went around looking for some more green youths to take them to the farm in Batokunku?” The witness responded in the affirmative. “Meaning you drove around town looking for them,” he enquired? “Yes but I didn’t find anyone,” said the witness. “It is true Mr. Jassey that apart from what you were told, you know nothing about this case,” said Camara. “Yes,” testified the witness. A question under re-examination by the prosecution was refused and expunge by the court as it was unambiguous and the witness was inconsistence in his evidence.
The Banjul police that dragged Journalist Marenah and Sheriff to the corridor of Justice, accused the pen pushers of publishing false news, when they claimed that 19 Green Youths from ruling party defect to opposition camp in December 2013.
The particulars of offence on count one states that Sainey M.K Marena and Musa .S. Sheriff, on or about the 6th of December, 2013 in the city of Banjul and diverse places the republic of the Gambia, conspired among themselves to publish on the Voice newspaper medium caption “19 GREEN YOUTHS JOINS THE OPPOSITION UDP” dated 6th December 2013, Vol-6 No117 ISSN: 0796-1308, thereby committed an offence.
According to the particulars of offence on count two, the same accused persons on or about the 6th of December, 2013 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of the Gambia, whilst employed as Editor in Chief and reporter respectively at the Voice newspaper medium, you made a publication with a caption “19 GREEN YOUTHS JOINS THE OPPOSITION UDP” dated 6th December 2013, Vol-6 No117 ISSN: 0796-1308, knowing or having reason to believe that the said publication is likely to cause fear to the public or disturb the public peace, thereby committed an offence.