Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ALERT: Gambia Press Union avert ‘near jail’ of journalist

Saikou Ceesay

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) paid D100, 000 (close to $3, 300) to help avoid a “jail term” for one of its members, Saikou Ceesay, a senior journalists working with the Daily News.

Mr Ceesay, an executive committee member of the GPU, was arrested on Monday and detained overnight at the Police Headquarters in Banjul; he was released on bail on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. 
On Wednesday, the magistrates’ court in the Gambian capital Banjul, presided over by Magistrate Tabally ordered him to pay in cash D100, 000, being a bail-bond he signed on behalf of the former Sports Editor of the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper, Mr Nanama Keita.

Mr Keita has since fled to the United States of America, where he was attending a United Nations (UN) fellowship for young journalists across the world. He had earlier on alleged receiving "death threats" text messages on his phone. 

Keita was standing trial on “giving false information to a public officer”, a charge he denied and called “bogus” after he left the country. His trial emanate from a petition he wrote to the Office of the President claiming “wrongful termination” of his job at the Daily Observer.

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