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Ex-Police Chief appeals life imprisonment

Oct 5, 2011, 1:21 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Ensa Badjie, the former head of the Gambia Police Force, has filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal against his life imprisonment sentence by the Special Criminal Court in August of this year.

The ex-police chief was found guilty on robbery-related charges, and was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Confirming the appeal, lawyer Borry Touray said, “Yes, you are right that my client had filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal challenging the superior court’s decision, some months ago, since his conviction.”

It would be recalled that Badjie was found guilty of seven out of 12 charges filed against him by state prosecutors in May 2010, after his arrest in March of the same year.

Badjie was convicted alongside former Chief Superintendent of Prisons Ali Ceesay, who was sentenced to three years or a fine of D30, 000 after being found guilty on one out of the three-count charge preferred against him.

Ceesay was acquitted and discharged on count 14, conspiracy to defeat justice and interference with witnesses, and on count 15, which was about deceiving witnesses. He was found guilty on count 16, which was an offence relating to judicial proceedings.

Indicted since May last year, Badjie was accused of conspiring with others “to break into and rob shops, banks and supermarkets between the years 2007 and 2009”, and thereby committed an offence.

Badjie was convicted and sentenced to seven-year imprisonment on count one, which was for conspiracy to commit a felony, 14 years on count two, which was for robbery with violence.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment on counts five and seven, which were about robbery with violence, and two years on count 11, which was aiding a prisoner to escape, and another seven years on count 12, which was for official corruption.

Ex-police chief Ensa Badjie and his co-accused first appeared at the Special Criminal Court on Friday 21st May 2010, where their plea of not guilty was recorded, following their denial of the charges preferred against them by the state.

The prosecution in order to prove its case called several witnesses to testify, including one Soriba Condeh, a convict serving a jail term of 14 years at Mile 2 prison, Pateh Jallow, former deputy chief of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Muhammed Sillah, a police officer, Muhammed Darboe, also a convict at Mile 2, and Baba Tundeh Khan proprietor of the famous ‘City Pub’ Bar and Restaurant.

Also called as prosecution witnesses were Fatou Jatou Mendy, Salieu Baldeh, another convict serving a jail term, police superintendent Landing Bojang, officer commanding Serrekunda Police Station, police inspector Abdoulie Sowe, officer commanding Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Bakoteh Police Station, and Dodou Janneh alias Do Boy, a murder convict serving a death sentence.

Ensa Badjie is already involved in another trial alongside two other senior military officers, under a 51-count charge including drugs-related offences, corruption and theft.

He is also currently appearing before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court for charges relating to abuse of office alongside Tijan Badjie, former head of police prosecutions Banjul division.