Former APRC NAM Abdoulie Saine Pleads Not Guilty
At its sitting last week Saine pleaded not guilty to all counts including charges on seditious intention. The courtroom was a mixture of a bipartisan crowd, heightened by commotion and a war of words and worsened by the lack of electricity.
Abdoulie Saine the former national assembly Member of the APRC is facing two counts on sedition. According to the particulars of offence; on Count 1, Abdoulie Saine on or about the 2nd of November 2018, in the City of Banjul, without lawful excuse and with intent to incite violence, voiced a statement on ‘WhatsApp’ audio, using abusive and derogative remarks against an entire tribe, stating their selfishness, hypocrisy and wickedness people.
On Count 2, Abdoulie Saine on the same day and place without lawful excuse and with intent to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between the different classes of the population of the Gambia uttered a statement on ‘WhatsApp’ audio using abusive and derogative remarks against an entire tribe. When the charges were read before Magistrates T. Wilson and M. Jarju of the Banjul Magistrates Court for the accused to take his plea,
Saine made an application for an adjournment of which objection was made by the lead prosecutor, Superintendent MB Mballow representing the Inspector General of Police. Saine told the court that his Counsel was in Brikama and was not in any position to make it on time for his case. He urged the Court to grant him a day’s adjournment.
This was countered by Prosecutor Mballow who maintained that lawyers owe the Courts an obligation; and that it is mandatory for them to be present in Court. T
he Trial Magistrate T. Wilson however ruled for the case to proceed adding that the Defence Lawyer should have communicated to the Court regarding his absence. AbdoulieSaine pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution then applied for an adjournment to enable them secure a fiat, from the office of the Attorney General. Despite the presence of armed security personnel there was some commotion before and after the trial. People were yelling that he should not be granted bail whilst others shouted that he should be left to go free.