Jun 24, 2011, 1:49 PM
Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday granted twenty-eight
government officials each bail of D250,000 with two Gambian sureties, who
should deposit their title deeds with a value of D250,000.
The accused persons should surrender their travel documents and should not leave the court’s jurisdiction.
When the case was called, police prosecutor Inspector S. Sanyang said he was representing the IGP.
Lawyer Lamin S. Camara said he was representing the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 24th and 27th accused persons.
He added that he was representing the 19th accused person together with Combeh Gaye-Coker.
Lawyer Surahata Janneh, together with lawyer Batchilly, represented the 6th, 7th and the 20th accused persons.
Hawa Sisay-Sabally said she was representing the 28th accused person and she, together with Omar Njie, Yassin Senghore and Amie Jobe, represented the 25th accused person.
Omar Njie said he was representing the 12th accused person, and with Combeh Gaye-Coker was representing the 11th accused person.
Patrick Gomez represented the 3rd and 17th accused persons.
The 6th, 13th and 26 accused persons were absent.
In his ruling, Magistrate Cham told the court that the case was for ruling based on the bail applications.
He said lawyer Camara submitted that both the Criminal Procedure Code and the constitution have given the court the power to grant bail to the accused persons, since the offences are bailable.
Magistrate Cham adduced that, in response, the police prosecutor, assistant superintendent P.L. Badjie, opposed the bail application, submitting that the accused persons were holding senior government positions and, if they were granted bail, it would affect the case, as the investigations were ongoing.
He said the prosecutor further stated that the accused persons could jump bail if they were granted bail.
It is the discretion of the court to grant bail to the accused persons, the magistrate added, citing some authorities to support his ruling.
Having looked at the charge, the court has the discretion to grant bail to the accused persons, he continued, adding that “they are entitled to bail”.
He further stated that he should exercise his discretion to grant the accused persons bail, which he did.
Earlier, the accused persons were paraded before Magistrate Omar Cham and charged with neglect of official duties and abuse of office. However, they denied the charge.