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Ex-GRA boss, commissioner of domestic tax denied bail

Jun 20, 2012, 3:08 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The Special Criminal Court in Banjul yesterday dismissed the bail application filed by the former commissioner general of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Bakary Sanyang.  

Justice Emmanuel Nkea, in his ruling, stated that the appellant filed a motion dated 11 June 2012, for bail pursuant to section 99 of the CPC and the applicant contended that he was arrested on 6 June 2012 and brought before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on 7 June 2012.

He said the state also filed a four-paragraph affidavit in opposition.

Justice Nkea stated that the applicant said he would not jump bail if granted it, adding that he had carefully considered the submission made from both sides, and the issue of concern was whether the accused would jump bail if granted.

The judge cited section 19 of the constitution with regard to the arrest and detention of an accused person while investigating into the case.

He stated that in the instance of this case the accused was brought before the court before 72 hours, noting that section 19 of the constitution was complied with.

He pointed out that in granting bail the following facts had to be considered: the quality of evidence before the court, the nature of the offence, the likelihood of the accused interfering with the witnesses and the likelihood of jumping bail, among other things.

He added that he was informed that the accused had a clean criminal bill, was the director of the GRA, and had significant influence.

The judge said he would hold that the continued detention of the accused would not violate section 19 (4) of the constitution, as the state was investigating into the case, and were yet to file formal charge against the accused.

“I shall adjourn this case till 25 June 2012, considering the issue of investigation,” he added.

He then made an order for the state to expedite the investigation and file a formal charge against the accused before 25 June 2012, failure of which he shall grant the accused person bail.

“I shall order the continued detention of the accused person pending the completion of the investigation into the matter,” he stated.

In a related development, Justice M. Abdullahi of the high court in Banjul also yesterday dismissed the bail application filed by the former commissioner of domestic tax, at the GRA, Musukebba Corr.

The judge in his ruling adduced that he had carefully listened to both sides, but found that the detention of the accused did not violate her right, as she was brought before the court before 72 hours.

Justice Abdullahi added that bail was at the discretion of the court, and it must be exercised judicially and judiciously, stating that in granting bail the court considers conditions such as the nature of the offence, the likelihood of jumping bail, the likelihood of interfering with the investigation and the likelihood of interfering with the witnesses.

He said he held that the accused had served long time with the GRA, and could interfere with the investigation and he (the judge) had agreed with the DPP that the nature of the offence was serious.   

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