Lawyer Darboe and his supporters being led away in handcuffs
Lawyer Darboe and his supporters being led away in handcuffs

(JollofNews) – A high court judge in Banjul is today expected to deliver a ruling in the case involving Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) and over a dozen of his supporters who are being tried for taking part in an ‘unathorised’ anti-government protest.

Mr Darboe and his supporters who are currently held at Mile Two Central Prisons, are slapped with multiple criminal offences including conspiring to commit felony, unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with traffic, holding a procession without a license and disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The opposition members were arrested in April after they took to the street to demand justice for their party’s organising secretary, Solo Sandeng, who was arrested two days earlier and killed in detention.

Mr Sandeng had led a brief but peaceful anti-regime protest at the busy Westfield Junction, Serrekunda, calling for proper electoral reforms and the resignation of President Jammeh.

Lawyer Darboe and his supporters being led away in handcuffs
Lawyer Darboe and his supporters being led away in handcuffs

After his arrest, he was moved to the feared National Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Banjul where he was tortured and killed within a few hours.

The Gambia government has admitted his death in custody and medical records said he died as result of breathlessness.

Angered at his death, the opposition members took to the streets to seek answers but were met by armed security officers who fired tear gas and live bullets at them before arresting and slapping them with criminal charges. A bail application made by their lawyers was rejected and their lawyers later walked out of court in protest at the biased nature of the judge.

Concerned at the nature of the case, the opposition members also gave a cold shoulder to the judge and refused to take part in what they described as a politically motivated case.