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After Eleven Months in Detention

Aug 17, 2009, 6:20 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Modou Manga Gets New Bail Bond

One Modou Manga last Thursday 13th August 2009, breathed a sigh of relief when the Sheriff and Master of the High Court, Pa Harry Jammeh granted him bail, following his detention for eleven months at Mile II Central Prisons.

While presiding over the case at the Kanifing Magistrates' Court, Pa Harry Jammeh revoked the bail granted to the accused by former Magistrate Buba Jawo.

According to the fresh bail condition, the accused should produce two Gambian sureties, all of whom must have landed properties within the Greater Banjul Area, and that they must swear to an affidavit of means.

The Defence Counsel, Edu Gomez told the court that the accused had been granted bail by former Magistrate Buba Jawo.

According to him, the records had shown that ASP Bojang, who was the Prosecution Officer, made a strange application before former Magistrate Buba Jawo, requesting that the bail granted to the accused be revoked or the conditions be made 'strict or severe'. He explained that no reasons were given.

He argued that the accused was directly taken to Mile II Prison, after fulfilling the bail conditions, which he added, has violated his constitutional rights.

Cadet Inspector Mballow rose at that juncture to say that the bail, which was previously granted to the accused by former Magistrate Buba Jawo was 'light'.

He told the court that the surety of the accused was a driver, who had only deposited his ID card to bail out the accused. According to him, the accused was about to leave the jurisdiction.

Defence Counsel Edu Gomez rose again to say that the submission by Prosecutor Cadet Inspector Mballow was futile. He argued that the accused was granted bail by the court, which he had fulfilled. He said there was no reason to detain him arbitrarily, adding that the bail was never set aside nor revoked.

The accused Modou Manga was first arraigned before former Magistrate Buba Jawo on 14th May 2008 and charged with stealing by clerk and servant.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused person between the months of January to April 2008 in the Kanifing Municipality stole 1952 bags of rice of 30kg, which is equivalent to D585, 600, being the property of Kanilai Group International.

He denied the charge.

He was subsequently granted bail in the sum of D600, 000, with a Gambian surety in like amount. He fulfilled the bail conditions and regularly attended court sessions until the 18th September 2008, when he was rearrested and detained.

After the dismissal of former Magistrate Buba Jawo, the case was transferred to the former Magistrate Sagarr Jahateh, who ordered for the release of the accused but her order was not obeyed by Inspector Touray, who was then the Prosecuting Officer.

Former Magistrate Jahateh fined him D2, 800, in default to serve two weeks in Mile II for disobeying her order as contempt.

However, former Magistrate Jahateh later resigned and the case was again transferred to senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke, who also ordered for the release of the accused.

His order was disobeyed and he pronounced that he would not proceed with the case until his order was obeyed.

When the case resumed, Cadet Inspector Mballow informed the court that the case file had been sent to the Attorney General's Chambers for legal advice.

Interestingly, the Defence Counsel at the last sitting on Thursday informed the court that he was withdrawing from the case.

"I cannot see myself in a scenario where the image of the country is tarnished," he told the court.

The case was adjourned to 20th August 2009 for continuation.