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Banjul - Gambia sentenced 10 former army officers to prison terms on Thursday ranging from 10 years to life for their role in a suspected coup attempt last year in the tiny west African country.
The government said last March it had uncovered a plot led by the former British colony's defence chief, Ndure Cham. It later detained up to 35 people, charging many of them with treason or conspiracy to commit treason.
"The prosecution has proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt and consequently the accused persons have been found guilty on their treason charges," Sarjo Fofana, president of the court martial, said.
Four senior officers, including the army's former public relations officer Captain Bunja Darboe, were sentenced to life in prison. Two others received 25-year jail terms while the remaining four were sentenced to 10 years.
President Yahya Jammeh, a former wrestler, has ruled Gambia since seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1994.
His opponents accuse him of a range of human rights abuses and of rigging elections, including those last September when he won a third five-year term.
A group of military officers accused in the coup plot appeared on television shortly after they were arrested confessing to a bid to take over the country while Jammeh was abroad and hand over power to an interim government.
Cham, the suspected mastermind of the attempted coup, has gone into hiding. Four civilians and six security officials also charged with involvement in the plot are still awaiting trial.