Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - A Banjul Magistrate's court on Thursday sentenced the editor and publisher of a private newspaper, Today, to a fine of 100,000 delasi (US$3,400) for contempt of court.
Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe convicted and sentenced Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh for contempt for an article in which he criticised a defence lawer for "sidestepping issues" during cross-examination of the vice chancellor of the University of Gambia in the trial of Dr. Gumbo Ali Touray, a former lecturer at the university.
Adiamoh would have served six months in jail in default but he has paid the fine and has been freed.
Mr. Adiamoh apologised to the court saying “it (the article) was never intended to prejudice the court or be disrespectful to the authority of the court presided over by His Worship, Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe. Neither was it intended to malign or hold Lawyer Badou S.M. Conteh of Lord's Chambers or anybody in contempt of any form whatsoever.”
The editor said he was just trying to do his work as a journalist and he had no intention to undermine court proceedings.
But the judge said ignorance of the law was not an excuse adding that Mr. Adiamoh’s action was "a well calculated one to discredit the court and defence counsel".
-0- PANA MSS/MA 28June2012