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One journalist released, another still in jail

(MFWA/IFEX) - Mam Sait Ceesay, a former editor of the pro-government Banjul-based "Daily Observer" newspaper, was released on 18 September 2007 after fulfilling his bail conditions in the sum of 200,000 Dalasi (approx. US$6,500).

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that Malick Jones, a principal producer of the state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) is still detained at Mile 2 Central prison on the outskirts of Banjul because he could not fulfil his bail conditions.

The two were arrested on 9 September, and held incommunicado in two separate locations by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), for allegedly passing on "false information" to a pro-government newspaper for publication.

The journalists were arraigned before the Banjul Magistrates' Court on 12 September and charged with "passing information to a foreign journalist, contrary to Section 4(1) (a) of the Official Secret Act of the Laws of The Gambia." The Court later granted them bail in the sum of 200,000 Dalasi each - conditions they could not meet, which led to their being remanded at Mile 2 Central prison. They are to reappear before the Court on 26 September.

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