Gambia sentences 8 coup plotters to death

July 16, 2010 08:12

BANJUL, Gambia — A Gambian court has sentenced eight people to death after convicting them of plotting a coup in the tiny West African nation.

A judge in Banjul, the capital, on Thursday sentenced the men, who include the former head of the country's military. Judge Emmanuel Amadi said they had been convicted of treason, conspiracy to murder, and participating in a months-long plot to overthrow the government in 2009.

The defendants' lawyer said they pleaded not guilty and will appeal the conviction and sentence.

Gambia, a former British colony, is a tiny sliver of land surrounded on three sides by Senegal.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh grabbed power in a 1994 coup.

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