The unexplained transfer of the trail of April 14th protesters to Mansankonko is yet another clear manifestation of the Gambia government’s disregard for the rule of law. There is no justification of transferring the case to a jurisdiction different from where the alleged crime takes place.
Fatoumata Jawara and her co-accused today appeared before a magistrate in Mansakonko. This followed after the remanded detainees were transferred to Jan Jan Bureh prisons. Families were not put in the picture either.
The accused persons were mercilessly tortured soon after their arrest, resulting to the death of Solo Sandeng. Leakage of Mr. Sandeng’s callous and inhumane death forced the executive and supporters of the United Democratic Party to the streets.
Like the case of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and co, Mansakoko case was also greeted with defiance. All the accused persons refused to legitimise what is purely illegitimate and illegal trial.
The prosecution led its witnesses, sub-Inspector Pateh Baldeh and First Class Kebba M. Jallow, to testify in the sham trial before inviting accused persons to cross-examine the witnesses. The Accused persons who are without lawyers answered with long silence.
Despite the prompt nature of the trial, some opposition supporters have managed to travel to Mansakonko to offer solidarity to the remanded detainees.
Defendants lawyers have earlier rubbished the transfer of the trial to Mansakonko. The legal team, headed by Barrister Antouman Gaye, walked out of the court in protest against Justice Dada’s condoning of travesty of justice. President Yahya Jammeh’s mercenary Nigerian judge’s decision to slant justice in favour of the state caused anger and frustration among defence lawyers.