Gambian journalist Lamin Fatty’s appeal adjourned to 10 April


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Gambian journalist Lamin Fatty’s appeal adjourned to 10 April

An appeal filed by journalist Lamin Fatty against his sentence to a fine of D50,000 (US$1,850) for publishing “false news” was on Thursday adjourned to 10 April because the 57-page judgement is still being typed at th e Kanifing Magistrate Court which sentenced him. When the case was called on Thursday, Fatty’s lawyer, Lamin Camara, was called to the judge’s chambers where he was told that the typing of the document, which was handwritten, was yet to be completed. Fatty, a reporter for the Banjul-based bi-weekly newspaper, The Independent, was arrested on 10 April 2006 following an article on the arrest of a number of alleged coup plotters which erroneously implicated a former government minister. He was held incommunicado for two months and eventually released on bail on 12 June 2006. On 5 June 2007 the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court found Fatty guilty and sentenced him to a D50,000 (US$1,850) fine or by default one year in prison. He was jailed immediately but was released when the Gambia Press Union (GPU), the country’s largest journalists’ union, paid the fine. On 24 March 2006, The Independent ran a piece that included a list of 23 well known figures arrested in connection with an abortive coup plot three days earlier . Samba Bah, former interior minister and former head of the National Intelligence Agency, was erroneously named. Bah refuted the assertion that he had been arrested and asked for apology from the newspaper. The Independent was forcibly closed by security services on 28 March 2006 and remains banned. Panapress.

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