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Fresh charges against former Justice Minister Jobarteh

Dec 17, 2013, 9:54 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Two fresh counts of abuse of office were yesterday pressed against former Justice minister Lamin AMS Jobarteh, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke.

Jobarteh, who is already on trial in three separate criminal cases at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, now faces another criminal case at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

In this latest charge sheet, Jobarteh was accused in count one that in May 2012, at the Ministry of Justice in Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court, whilst being employed as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, he acted in excess of his office and instructed Miss Anna Dibba, the state counsel at the Special Litigation Department to effect a withdrawal of a legal suit in the State versus Muhammed Kebbeh and Alhagie Ash John, that was before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, and thereby committed an offence.

In count two, Lamin AMS Jobarteh was accused that sometime in May 2012, he obtained a case file in the State versus Muhammed Kebbeh and Alhagie Ash John from Anna Dibba, at the Special Litigation Department in the Ministry of Justice and willfully destroyed same with intent of preventing it from being used in further proceedings, and thereby committed an offence.

Jobarteh denied both charges.

Defence counsel Lamin LS Camara in applying for bail on behalf of his client, told the court that the charges against Jobarteh were a misdemeanor, so he was urging the court to grant him bail.

He added that the accused person had been grant bail in the previous cases of about D3 million and that his client was not posing any flight risk.

 “I take cognizance of the fact that bail is entirely at the discretion of the court; so therefore, I enjoined your worship to exercise his discretion judiciously in favour of the accused person,’’ counsel said.

In response, state counsel Tom told the court that the state was not opposing bail for the accused person.

Delivering his ruling, the trial magistrate announced that the court would grant the accused person bail in the sum of D1 million.

The bail conditions further stipulated that the accused person must have two Gambians sureties, and one must swear to an affidavit of means

The case was adjourned to 31 December 2013, for hearing.