By Abdoulie John

A Gambian court-martial on Monday absolved two Army Generals who flew with former President Yahya Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea in January 2017. Former aides to ex-dictator Brigadier Generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana who were part of the team that accompanied him (Jammeh) to Equatorial Guinea, flew back home a year later, resulting to their arrest, detention and court martial.

“This court has found not guilty Brigadier Generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba,” Navy Chief Commodore Madani Senghore said while handing down verdict in a packed court room.

In January 2018, the duo jetted back into the country after a one-year absence. Upon arrival in the country, the men were arrested before being slapped with a single charge of desertion. Tamba and Mendy maintained their innocence.

Commodore Senghore however said Monday’s verdict is subjected to confirmation.

Prior to the sentencing, Justice Amina Saho Ceesay laid down the final arguments of both the prosecution and defense team.

She told the court that the prosecution brought six witnesses and produced eight exhibits in an attempt to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Amina Saho Ceesay also reminded the general court-martial panel to look into the evidence given by the accused persons and see whether it would exonerate them.

Meanwhile, a leading State Prosecutor told this medium that the fate of the two generals now lies in the hands of Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. General Masanneh Kinteh.

Legal Aid’s Charles Sarr Thomas, who spoke to reporters, said if the verdict is not given a favourable consideration by army Chief Kinteh, he can still take the matter up with the Gambia Court of Appeal.

Ends

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