The Banjul Magistrates Court acquitted and discharged Sainey Mk Marenah, a freelance journalist, and Musa S. Sheriff, editor-in-chief of The Voice newspaper of charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and publication of false news. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to both charges and could have faced sentences of up to two years for each separate charge, in addition to a fine, if found guilty.
The charges were in relation to an article published in The Voice, a privately owned Gambian newspaper, on 9 December 2013. The article concerned the defection of 19 youth supporters of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-Orientation and Construction to the opposition United Democracy Party. A rejoinder was written and published shortly after the APRC contested the story.
With financial support of the Media Legal Defence Initiative, the defence made a “no case to answer” submission at the close of the prosecution case. Gambian law allows defendants to argue that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons. A ruling for “no case to answer” allows the case to end immediately.
Magistrate Jacqueline Nixon Hakim held that, although it was indisputable that a publication was made, the evidence presented was “neither direct or circumstantial” in showing the publication was false or that there had been a conspiracy between the journalists. Concluding that the prosecution had failed to prove its case, the prosecution of Marenah and Sheriff could not continue.
Durante años, la periodista Claudia Julieta Duque fue sometida a una prolongada campaña de tortura psicológica a manos de la extinta policía secreta colombiana, el Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS). Desde 2001, Duque se enfrentó a una persecución implacable, desde el secuestro hasta la incesante invasión de su intimidad, pasando por la vigilancia ilegal de […]
For over two decades journalist Claudia Duque was subjected to a prolonged campaign of psychological torture at the hands of the now-defunct Colombian secret police, the Department of Security (DAS). Since 2001, Duque faced relentless persecution — from kidnapping to the ceaseless invasion of her privacy, encompassing illegal surveillance of phone calls, emails, and bank […]
Lilian Olivia Orero is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Award-winning writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. Lilian Olivia participated in our women-only litigation surgeries as part of our EWDRA project. Here she gave a presentation on strategies that journalists in sub-Saharan Africa can use to help them stay safe online amidst ever […]