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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Gambia jail terms for coup plot
President Yahya Jammeh
Mr Jammeh's administration is accused of harassing opponents
Ten suspected coup plotters in The Gambia has been sentenced from 10 years in jail to life imprisonment by a military court in the capital, Banjul.

The ex-army officers were convicted of attempting in March 2006 to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh's government.

The suspected mastermind of the coup, former army chief of staff Col Ndure Cham, fled the country when more than 20 suspected plotters were arrested.

President Jammeh, who came to power in a coup, was re-elected last September.

Gambia has been relatively stable under Mr Jammeh but his administration has come under increasing criticism for arresting opposition activists and a crackdown on press freedom.

A month after the coup plot was unearthed, the government said five of the 19 suspects had escaped from custody while being transported to a prison 200km from the capital.

Correspondents say nothing has been heard of them since, prompting fears that they may have been executed.

Four civilians are also being tried at the high court over the coup plot.


SEE ALSO
Gambia's 'coup plotters' escape
05 Apr 06 |  Africa
Arrests over Gambia 'coup plot'
28 Mar 06 |  Africa
Country profile: The Gambia
04 Nov 05 |  Country profiles

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