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Five NDEA Officers Appear at High Court

May 27, 2011, 2:02 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Five narcotics officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), who allegedly tortured one Cherno Alieu Suwareh alias Che leading to his death, yesterday appeared at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

The accused persons are Eku Grant, Ebou Lowe, Abdoulie E. Jallow, Mattar Sey Jawo and Alieu Conteh.

It would be recalled that they were earlier arraigned at the lower court in Banjul, charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder, but the case was transferred to the special criminal court in Banjul, which has jurisdiction to try capital offences.

However, during yesterday’s proceeding, the accused persons could not take their plea, as the state prosecutors said they have received the case file from the Banjul Magistrates’ Court and would like to study it before they could proceed with the matter.

“We have received the case file from the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, and crave the indulgence of the court to grant us an adjournment so that we could study the case file and file an indictment,” deputy Director of Public Prosecutions SH Barkun told the court.

The counsel representing Grant and Jallow, L.S. Camara, did not raise an objection, but warned that the prosecution should file the charges as soon as possible.

Justice Ikpala subsequently adjourned the case till 6 June 2011 for mention and plea-taking.

It would be recalled that the police spokesperson ASP Yerro Mballow told reporters recently that the five men allegedly tortured the late Cherno, which led to his death, eleven days after he was admitted at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul.

The deceased was said to have been found in possession of the illicit drug cannabis, the accused narcotics officers raided his house in Bakau.