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Bun Sanneh illness delays proceedings

Aug 7, 2010, 8:24 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

(Friday, 6th August 2010 issue)

The criminal trial of Ibrahim Bun Sanneh and four others could not proceed yesterday at the high court in Banjul due to the illness of the 1st accused person, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh. He was reportedly admitted at the Royal Victorian Teaching Hospital in Banjul for an eye operation.

When the case was called, the court was informed that Bun Sanneh was ill, and could not make it to the court.

Defence counsel K. Sanyang representing the 1st and 3rd accused persons, said the trial could not proceed in the absence of the 1st accused, stating, "you cannot try an accused person in a criminal case in absentia."

Counsel then urged the presiding judge to revisit his ruling on the bail application he made earlier on behalf of Bun Sanneh, referring to "special circumstance".

However, Justice Amadi said he had already delivered his ruling on the said bail application, and that if counsel was not satisfied with the ruling, they can file an application at the court of appeal to challenge his decision.

PC Secka counsel for the 2nd and 5th accused also supported the submission made by K. Sanyang, arguing that the court should see how to revisit the bail application in the interest of justice.

But Justice Amadi still maintained that they have a right to appeal against his ruling on the bail application.

The case was then adjourned to 17th August 2010 to enable the 1st accused to be present in court.

Readers would recall that Bun Sanneh and his co-accused persons have all pleaded not guilty to the charges they are facing under a 30-count charge sheet.

The accused persons are Ibrahim Bun Sanneh former Executive Director of the NDEA, Karamo Bojang, his assistant, Ousman Sanneh, former NDEA Director of Operations, Seedou Bojang former NDEA Accountant and one Marie Sanneh.

They were indicted by state prosecutors on various charges ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, stealing by person in public service, aiding and abetting, unlawfully possession of fire arm, unlawfully possession of live ammunitions, concealment and destroying of evidence, official corruption, to abuse of office and committing economic crimes, obtaining money by false pretence, to making document without authority and forgery.