6 November 2017

Gambia: NIA 9 Case - Security Personnel Deny Media Entrance

The ongoing criminal trial of former senior officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), proceeded in the absence of the media practitioners who were denied entry by security forces present at the court grounds.

The police intervention unit personnel present told journalists that they cannot be allowed to go in because the court can only take limited people due to its size. The Media personnel were present minutes before 12 pm, the stipulated time for trial, but were denied entrance by the security forces who did not even entertain negotiations.

In the presence of media practitioners, the security personnel were allowed to go in and out of the court. During the trial, the presence of the security forces congested the vicinity that no one was able to enter particularly the press. The public who came to witness the trial were all denied entry. The public created commotion at the court entrance when they were denied entry by the PIU. The security personnel present were PIU and prison officers.

Speaking to reliable sources, the press was told that the bail of the 9th accused person, Lamin Lang Sanyang, a medical practitioner, was revoked by the court. The disclosure that was made to the media, indicated that in the amended charge sheet, there is an included charge that involves a penalty that attracts life imprisonment, which warranted the bail to be revoked. Journalists were told that when the motion was moved by State Counsels, the defence did not object to the motion and the court revoked the bail accordingly. The case was adjourned to the 6th and 7th November 2017 at 12 noon, for hearing.

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