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Former SSHFC MD still remanded

Jan 18, 2011, 12:00 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Edward Graham the former Managing Director of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) still remains in remand custody, following the denial of bail by the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

The former MD is being tried on charges of economic crime, which he has denied.

At yesterday's hearing of the case, state counsel Simeon Abi told the court that the case was for continuation of hearing, but when he contacted the investigators, on 14th January 2011, they told him that they wanted to confirm one or two things from the accused person.

He further stated that the state was not sure the accused person would not interfere with their ongoing  investigations, and that the denial of bail should remain the same.

State counsel Abi added that the court made an order for the state to expedite and conclude the investigation into the matter within ten days, which he said has not yet elapsed, and urged the court to refuse the bail application, and to continue remanding the accused person.

Responding to the state counsel's submission, defence counsel Amie Bensouda reminded the court of its earlier order for the prosecution to expedite and conclude their investigation into the matter within 10 days.

The ten days given to the prosecution by the court elapsed on 16th January 2011, counsel said, and again the state was still not able to proceed with the case.

Counsel added that her client's liberty was at stake.

"It will not be fair for the court to continue remanding the accused person in custody," she continued, adding that any further detention of the accused person would be unwarranted, and an injustice to him."

The defence counsel further told the court that her client had already spent 20 days in custody, and yet the matter was still under investigation.

"The police should have completed their investigations by now, since they have ample time, and the liberty of my client is at stake," counsel added.

"Your worship, I think the court should put into consideration that my client is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court, but not the prosecution or the investigation team," she concluded.

Principal Magistrate Nkea adjourned the case till today for ruling.