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Gambia opposition leader gets 3-year jail sentence

21 July 2016, 13:18

Banjul - Opposition leader Ousainou Darboe was sentenced to three years in jail on Wednesday in the Gambia for organising a rare demonstration protesting the death in custody of a party member.

A Banjul High Court judge sent Darboe and 17 other supporters to prison for six offences relating to the April 16 protest, with all sentences to served concurrently.

"I have found you guilty on all the counts except count three (incitement of violence) which is struck out," the judge said.

Darboe is head of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the tiny west African country, which has been run with an iron fist by President Yahya Jammeh since 1994.

All the defendants had pleaded not guilty and have the option to appeal the sentences.

The harshest punishment was meted out for the crime of "holding a procession without permit", along with lesser offences such as rioting and disobeying orders to disperse.

One man, Yahya Bah, was acquitted.



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