Ex Gambia minister accused of coup plot

2011-06-15 21:15

Banjul - Gambian prosecutors on Wednesday charged a former communications minister, who is also a US national, and three others of a plot to overthrow the government of President Yahya Jammeh.

Amadou Scatred Janneh and the others will stand trial for "conspiring among themselves to carry out an enterprise with force with the intent to usurp the executive powers of the state", according to the charges.

Janneh will also face charges that "on or about the month of May 2011, he distributed T-shirts bearing 'Coalition for Change The Gambia, End to Dictatorship Now' with intent to usurp the executive powers of the state."

Janneh, 48, was communications minister in 2005 and 2006. He has been missing since June 7 after he was arrested by plainclothes policemen as he arrived at his workplace.

The president, an outspoken military officer and former wrestler who took power in a bloodless coup in 1994, has been accused of running the west African country with an iron fist and flouting human rights.

Gambia will hold elections on November 24 and Jammeh has said his victory is "a foregone conclusion".

A special Gambian criminal court in May sentenced the former army and navy chiefs to 20 years in prison for treason for their involvement in a March 2006 coup attempt.

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