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Jailed lawyer pardoned

(MFWA/IFEX)- A Gambian lawyer who was jailed on September 19, 2011 for allegedly giving false information to the office of President Yahya Jammeh has been granted presidential pardon and released from prison.

Moses Richards, until his release on October 14, 2011, was serving a two-year prison sentence for sedition and another six months for "giving false information" to the office of President Jammeh. Both sentences ran concurrently.

The charges against Richards stemmed from a letter he wrote on behalf of his client, Pa Ebrima Colley, to the sheriff of the Banjul High Court, reportedly referring to the office of President Jammeh as ordering the sheriff for a stay of judgement in a land dispute between two families in a village in the western part of The Gambia.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) sources reported that Richards, a former High Court judge, was released after his plea for mercy to President Jammeh was granted.

During his defence, Richards maintained that he did not write anything that was contemptuous of the president, nor did he give false information to the sheriff.

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