Aug 3, 2016, 10:38 AM
The Special Criminal Court yesterday dismissed the bail application filed by the defence in the treason and sedition trial involving Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh and three others.
The bail application was in respect of Modou Keita, the 2nd accused person, Ebrima Jallow the 3rd accused, and the 4th accused person Micheal C. Uche Thomas.
In his ruling, the trial judge said that by a motion dated on 1st November 2011, the applicants through their counsel asked the court to grant them bail, pending the hearing and determination of the charges them.
He added that the applications stated that the offences they were charged with under the criminal code are bailable offences.
They further contended that the investigation into the matter was long concluded, and that the applicants would not interfere with the investigation process or with potential witnesses, the judge said.
The DPP opposed the application for bail, the judge went on, and filed an affidavit in opposition.
“In conceding that the offences are bailable in nature, the learned DPP submitted that the issue lies squarely within the discretion of the court, which discretion must be exercised judicially and judiciously,” he stated.
According to the judge, the DPP also urged the court to consider the particular circumstances of this case, and that bail was not matter of course.
Both the defence counsel and DPP referred the court to a plethora of authorities both local and foreign to strengthen their arguments, the judge continued.
Having read through the affidavit of both sides, having gone through the authorities cited by both sides and having also carefully read through the oral submissions of both sides, Justice Nkea said the issue for determination is - should the applicants be admitted to bail having regard to the peculiarities of this case.
He then went on to give reasons for his reluctance to grant the application for bail. Justice Nkea noted that this matter was already being heard expeditiously on a day-to-day basis, and said he intended to proceed more expeditiously having regards for the availability of counsel for both sides
“It is for this reason that the applicant will not be admitted to bail. I will not exercise my discretion in favour of the grant of bail. The application for bail is accordingly dismissed,” he announced.