Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Supreme Court refuses to undertake death penalty review

The Gambia's Standard newspaper is reporting that the Supreme Court of The Gambia has refuse to review the death penalty case of Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba and others before adjourning the court to its next session which is scheduled to be in November.

According to the Chief Justices ruling, he cannot proceed with the review because the law provides that for the court to proceed, the panel must be made up of seven judges.  The panel he is chairing is made up of six judges, and thus short of a judge to would allow him to proceed.

The death penalty which was upheld by the Supreme Court following the verdict of the High Court was imposed on Chief of Defense Staff Tamba, Omar Bun Mbye, Lamin Badgie, Momodou Gaye, Kawsu Camara alias Bombardier,  Gibril Ngorr Secka and businessman Lie Joof.

The new Pakistani Chief Justice Chawhan is quoted as saying "There is a constraint...We don't have a panel of seven members for the case to be reviewed.  We cannot hear it until we are seven."

Why there is no seventh judge now or whether there will be one at the next session of the Supreme Court is unclear at this time.