The United Democratic Party leader and his co-accused this afternoon pleaded innocent against six counts, including organising unlawful and riotous procession.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and co’s were last week arrested and detained for their involvement in a peaceful protest. The protest stemmed from the death in custody of UDP’s Organising Secretary, Solo Sandeng, and others who went into coma following brutal tortures in the hands of Gambian security.
Mr. Darboe and co have since been remanded in Mile 2 Central Prison until today when they were formally charged.
In today’s crowded court session, all the defendants maintained their innocence.
There was bitter argument between the lead defence lawyer Anstouman Gaye and the director of public prosecution Salem Barkum over granting bail to the accused. While the state argued that the defendants would interfere with investigations upon granted bail, Gaye said the alleged offences are, after all, misdemeanours. He also maintained that the charges against his clients are bailable under the laws of The Gambia, and that defendants have been held beyond 72 hours, which infringed their rights.
The court adjourned the case until Thursday at 10 AM for formal bail application and hearing. Mr. Darboe and co have returned to Mile II.
Riot? What riot? The guys are walking hand in hand peacefully – like Martin Luther King and Co in that iconic photo over Selma Bridge. Just as in Selma, it is the police who rioted.