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Court ruling delays in Caliph Muhideen Hydara case

Sep 2, 2014, 9:06 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay & Fatou Jallow

The court was to deliver Monday a ruling on the defence application for a stay of proceedings, and to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of The Gambia, in the trial involving Darsilameh Sangajor Caliph-General Muhideen Hydara, and the village alkalo, Buyeh Touray.

The trial failed to proceed at the Brikama magistrates’ court on Monday, when the ruling was expected.

The two accused persons were earlier arraigned before the court and charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, and disobedience to lawful order, which they both denied.

It would be recalled that the case proceeded on 18 August 2104 before magistrate S. Sanneh, with the testimony of the prosecution’s first witness, the chief of the district Momodou Lamin Jarju.

After the witnessed testified, the lawyers for the accused persons led by senior counsel Antouman AE Gaye applied to the court for a stay of proceedings, and to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of The Gambia.

The application was for the apex court’s interpretation and determination of questions under the constitution.

Counsel submitted that the charge of disobedience of a lawful order of the President of The Gambia is inconsistent with and contrary to the constitution; therefore null and void and of no effect.

The police prosecutor in the case, chief inspector Touray, argued that the court has the power to hear the case, because the offences charged are offences which are always before the court.

The hearing was adjourned to be continued on Monday 1st September, for the magistrate to give her ruling on the submissions.

The case has now been adjourned to 4 September 2014.

According to the charge sheet read in court on count one the accused persons, Sheikh Muhideen Hydara and Buyeh Touray, on 29 July 2014 between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Darsilameh Sangajor (village) in Foni Kansala (district) of the West Coast Region, jointly conspired to commit an offence.

Count two stated that on the same date,place and time, they jointly disobeyed a lawful order of the President of The Gambia by refusing to perform Eid ul Fitr prayers on 28 July 2014, as announced by GRTS; perform the Eid on 29 July 2014, and thereby committed an offence.

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