May 28, 2014, 11:46 AM
The accused persons are Cherno Hamidou Savage, Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Mansa Bah, Ousman Sowe, Sheikh Dawda York, Alpha Kanteh, Abdou Camara, Kemo Fatty, and Buba Bah who is at large.
They were represented by lawyers S.M. Tambedou, Mathew, Marong, EA Gomez, and Richards; the state was represented by R. Dougan.
When the case was called, the absence of the 2nd, 7th, and 8th accused persons was announced by their counsel.
State counsel R. Dougan said the case was set for plea-taking.
However, the trial judge, Justice Abi, said pleas could not take place since the other accused persons were absent.
Counsel E.A. Gomez then said he would like to remind the court that section 24: 3c of the constitution states that every person charged with a criminal offence should be given adequate time and facility to enable them prepare for their defence.
He said the defence should be provided with the charge sheet and summary of witness evidence.
He said they had not been served with the summary of witness evidence.
“I urge your lordship to engage the prosecution so that we are in better position to defend our clients,” counsel added.
In his ruling, Justice Abi said the state should provide the defence with the documents.
He said since the counsel of those absent in court were there, he would order that, if at the next adjourned date they were not in court to answer to the charges levied against them, a bench warrant for their arrest will be issued.
The particulars of offence in count one stated that the accused persons, Cherno Hamidou Savage, Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Mansa Bah, Ousman Sowe, Sheikh Dawda York, Alpha Kanteh, Abdou Camara, Kemo Fatty, and Buba Bah at large, between December 2013 and March 2014 in the Kanifing Municipality and diverse places, conspired to defraud one Abdoulie Bittaye and his partners of D7,465,000 and thereby committed an offence.
Count two stated that the accused persons on the same date, place and time by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained from Abdoulie Bittaye and his partners D7,465,000 with the representation that they were to sell 50 kilo grams of gold, which representation they knew was false, and thereby committed an offence.
three stated that the accused persons on the same date, place and time being
residents in The Gambia and in the course of a business transaction of selling
alleged gold to Abdoulie Bittaye, whilst dealing with the Gambia Revenue
Authority declared only forty-one million, four hundred and seventy-five
thousand dalasi instead of fifty-nine million, two hundred and fifty thousand
dalasi, intentionally causing economic loss of one million, seven hundred and
seventy-seven thousand, five hundred dalasi, which was injurious to the economy
of The Gambia, and thereby committed an offence.