The eight men are Lt. Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba, former chief of defense staff of The Gambia armed forces; Brig. Gen. Omar Bun Mbye, former deputy chief of defense staff; Col. Lamin Badjie, former head of military intelligence at The Gambia armed forces; Lt. Col. Kawsu Camara, former head of Kanilai Family Farm; Modou Gaye, former deputy inspector general of police; Gibril Ngorr Secka, former head of mission at the Gambian Embassy in Guinea Bissau; and Abdoulie Joof and Yousef Ezziden.
Until their conviction, Mr. Joof and Ezziden were renown businessmen.
Justice Emmanuel Amadi, a Nigerian, said the men were convicted under The Gambia’s treason law.
“After going through the evidence of the prosecution and the defense, I find all the accused persons guilty and accordingly sentence them to death on all three counts,” he told a crowded court in the capital Banjul.
The convicts and their family members broke down in tears. They have only 30 days to file an appeal. Defence lawyer Pap Chessayin Secka said he was disappointed about the judgment, and vowed to contest it at the appeals court.