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Journalist's trial resumes; public barred from attending

(MFWA/IFEX) - The Kanifing Magistrate Court trying Fatou Jaw Manneh, a US-based Gambian journalist, for alleged sedition on 21 April 2008 restricted the general public from the trial by ruling that only Manneh's family members and two journalists were to be admitted to the court.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) sources reported that the ruling followed an earlier application filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of The Gambia, Emmanuel Fagbenle. The DPP had earlier asked the court to protect the prosecution witnesses by concealing their identities.

The sources said Lamin Jobarteh, Manneh's counsel, objected to the court's decision, arguing that courts all over the world were an open platform for the general public. This was, however, overruled.

Following the new ruling, a third witness also testified against the journalist.

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