#Article (Archive)

Former NIA Finance Director Discharged

Dec 4, 2008, 4:05 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang

The Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Edrissa Mbai yesterday discharged Bakary Gassama, former finance Director at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), for want of diligent prosecution.

According to Magistrate Mbai the accused was first arraigned in court on 26thSeptember 2008 and since then the prosecution had not proceeded with the case. He said on the last adjourned date, the court did indicate that if the prosecution failed to proceed with their case the court would discharge the accused person for want of diligent prosecution.

Magistrate Mbai further stated that the court had given the prosecution enough time, adding that this was a criminal matter and the liberty of the accused was at stake.

The prosecuting officer, Sub-Inspector Badjie told the court thatthe case could not proceed because the case file was still at the Attorney General's Chambers.

Defence counsel Kebba Sanyang, in response, said the prosecution seemed to have asked for an adjournment, which the defence was not opposed to, considering the nature of the case.

He said however the defence applied to the court to impose its inherent jurisdiction to review the bail condition it had imposed on the accused. He added that the accused had been in detention for a very long time.

It could be recalled that the accused Bakary Gassama had been standing trial on a charge of abuse of office. It was alleged that between February and March 2008 at the NIA, he abused his authority by receiving the sum of D51,000 from Babucarr Jallow for safe keeping, knowing the said amount of money was stolen.