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Case against journalists suspended

(MFWA/IFEX) - The proceedings against Malick Jones, a principal producer with the state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), and Mam Sait Ceesay, a former editor of the pro-government "Daily Observer" newspaper, were suspended on 26 September 2007. The decision followed defence counsel Antouman Gaye's submission that the case was filed without a fiat of the Attorney General as required by law.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that the prosecution, for its part, asked the court to be allowed to consult the Attorney General's Chambers before responding - an application granted by the presiding magistrate. No date has been fixed for the continuation of the hearings.

The journalists, who were arrested on 9 September and held incommunicado for three days, appeared before the Banjul Magistrates' Court to answer to charges of "passing information to a foreign journalist, contrary to Section 4(1) (a) of the Official Secret Act of the Laws of The Gambia." They pleaded not guilty.

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