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D2.5M bail for Former Finance Ministry PS

Jul 28, 2011, 1:54 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Former Permanent Secretary at the ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Sering Cham, was yesterday granted bail of D2.5 million with one Gambian surety in large amount by the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Cham was remanded in custody, since Monday 18th July 2011.

He was accused by prosecutors of authorizing the sale of a developed plot of land in Kanifing Estate valued at D1.5 million to himself at the tune of D250, 000, which they believed amounted to economic losses to the state.

He was first arraigned at the lower court in Banjul on charges of economic crimes.

His case was later transferred to the high court, which has the power to try economic crimes cases.

Cham was granted bail following the filling of a formal bail application by defence counsel Pap Cheyassin Secka at the high court.

As part of the bail conditions, Cham was ordered to deposit his international travel documents with the court.

Defence counsel Secka, who filed a 13-paragraph affidavit sworn to by the appellant himself, told the court that they are able, willing and ready to satisfy any bail condition.

The deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, SH Barkun, who represented the state did not raise any objection to the defence counsel’s request for bail, noting that bail was entirely at the discretion of court.

“My lord, the court should look into the amount of money involved before granting bail as the charge is an economic crime,” Barkun told the presiding judge.

After hearing from both parties, the trial judge subsequently granted bail to the accused person, and subsequently set hearing for 17th October 2011.