Apr 6, 2011, 1:36 PM
Magistrate Drammeh of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court recently discharged Nyima Dibba, Lamin Keita, Modou Sambou, Abdul Barry and Yusupha Minteh, who were standing trial for stealing and accessory of the fact.
When the case was called, CPL 3560 Colley told the court that prosecutor Kinteh, the officer commanding, had directed that the file should be sent back to the headquarters for reassignment.
He said he was therefore applying for a short adjournment.
In response, defence counsel Marie Saine told the court that if the prosecution was not ready to proceed with the case, the defence would apply that the accused persons be discharged.
The presiding magistrate ruled that the court, having heard from both parties, was left with no option but to discharge the accused persons.
"The prosecution was as yet not in a position to proceed with the case," she said, adding that the court would not and could not indulge the prosecution's numerous applications for adjournment.
"A person standing trial on a criminal charge has a constitutional guaranteed right to be subjected to a trial conducted within a reasonable time," the magistrate added.
She consequently discharged the accused persons.
According to the charge sheet on count one, on 11 November 2010, at
Count two read that on 8 November 2010, at the same place, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th accused persons, while under the employment of ICB, knowing Nyima Dibba to be guilty of an offence, tried to let her escape punishment.