Oct 14, 2008, 6:25 AM
The acting-Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday referred the case involving former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Lamin AMS Jobarteh, and ex-solicitor general and legal secretary Pa Harry Jammeh, to the office of the Chief Justice for reassignment.
This development followed police prosecutor Superintendent Sainey Joof’s application for the matter to be transferred to the High Court of The Gambia for trial.
Lamin Jobarteh and Pa Harry Jammeh were earlier arraigned under a 10-count charge which included conspiracy to defeat justice, abuse of office, official corruption, destroying evidence, and neglect of official duty, charges they had since denied.
Jobarteh was also alone arraigned on two counts of economic crime, which he had also denied
When the case was called in court, the prosecutor applied for the matter to be transferred to the high court.
“I wish to apply for the case to be transferred to the High Court,” he said, adding that the matter at the lower court was related to the one at the high court; and therefore it would be proper to try the accused persons there.
In response, the defence counsel LS Camara told the court that the defence did not object to transferring the case to the high court, but the prosecutor did not cite any relevant laws as to why this should happen.
He said the charges preferred against the accused persons are within the jurisdiction of the court.
Prosecutor Joof then told the court that there is a charge against the 1st accused person, which was transferred to the high court.
Delivering his ruling, the trial magistrate, among other things told the court that the laws regarding transfer of matters from one court to another are clearly stated in the Criminal Procedure Code.
Consequently, he referred the case to the office of the Chief Justice for reassignment.