Does one need a license to pass info through Skype?

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LasanaDefence lawyer representing the United Democratic Party activist has asked prosecution witness whether one needed a license to pass any information through Skype. Kebba Secka, the state security agent, said he did not know.

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe represented Lasana Jobarteh. He was charged with broadcasting without a license, contrary to the Information and Communication Act. Mr. Jobarteh appeared before Principal Magistrate Ibrahim Kijera of Bundung.

In his cross-examination, Lawyer Darboe asked whether the witness heard the accused on any radio station on December 15th 2013 broadcasting or announcing anything. The witness replied in the negative.

“I did not hear the accused on any of the radios broadcasting anything on the day of his arrest,” said the prosecution witness.

Secka told the court that he was assigned to obtain the cautionary statement from the accused person. He said he had invited an independent witness, Foday Sanyang, to witness the process. Secka said after writing his statement, both the accused and the independent witness signed the document.

Darboe probed the witness whether it was correct to obtain a cautionary statement from suspects. The witness said replied in the affirmative.

He was then asked what offence the accused committed, that warranted him to take his cautionary statement. The witness admitted not being told about the accused person’s alleged crime. He also did not know whether the accused person had a broadcasting station in the Gambia.

The witness said if given the opportunity, he would obtain the list of all the broadcast stations from the minister of communication. He also said the National Intelligence Agency did not have a list of all broadcast stations in the Gambia.

Kebba Secka identified the six-leaflet statement which was shown to him. The statement was marked and tendered as an exhibit without objection from the defence counsel.

The case at this juncture was adjourned to January 20th to allow the witness to produce the list of broadcast stations in the country.

Lasana Jobarteh was earlier arrested and detained at the NIA headquarters in Banjul. He was and later transferred to Bundung Police Station and subsequently arraigned before Magistrate Kijera of Bundung. Lasana Jobarteh was charged with broadcasting without a license. According to the particulars of offence,  between 14  and 15 December 2013, while attending the opposition United Democratic Party [UDP] political rallies at Buffer Zone in the Kanifing Municipality and Brikama and diverse places, Jobarteh talked on Skype using an IPOD and gave information abroad without a broadcasting license, and thereby committed an offence.

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