Jan 6, 2015, 10:15 AM
Veronic Carayol, the deputy commissioner of Enforcement at The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), was Wednesday arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Jacqueline N. Hakim on a four-count criminal offence charge.
Before the charges were read to the accused person, the defence lawyer, Awa Ceesay-Sabally, drew the court’s attention to count three and Section 181 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is about ‘unlawful publication’.
She said her client cannot take her plea on that count, since she has raised an objection to the court, and asked the court to refer the said count to the Supreme Court of The Gambia for interpretation.
In response, the police prosecutor, Sub-Inspector A. Badjie, argued that the counsel’s objection was wrong.
Badjie maintained that by virtue of Section 161 (A) an objection has to wait until the charge was read over to the accused person, and that the counsel’s objection was premature.
The presiding magistrate, in his ruling, upheld the defence counsel’s objection and asked the accused person to take her plea on counts 1, 2 and 4 respectively.
According to the particulars of the offence on count one, which is ‘’abuse of office’, the accused person in Banjul and other places, abused her office by allowing the official vehicle with registration No GRA63 to be used for carrying her sister’s employee and merchandise of baby diapers on an official mission, and thereby committed an offence.
Count two, on false information to a public servant, stated that the accused, in Banjul and other diverse places, falsely informed the panel of investigators that there is a documented outstanding balance businessmen should pay, which she circulated and it was retrieved by some GRA top officials, which information she knew or believed to be false.
Count four stated that the accused, in Banjul and diverse places, uttered in own words that she accepted unsolicited money as gifts or reward for doing favours, and thereby committed an offence.
When the charges were read to her, she pleaded not guilty.
Defence counsel A Ceesay-Sabally, in her bail application, submitted that her client has fit and reliable people ready to stand as sureties for her.
Furthermore, her client has properties, which she was ready to deposit as title deed guarantee.
She is not a flight risk, and she came from a well-known family and is the deputy commissioner of Enforcement at GRA. Moreover, the offences she was charged with are bailable, counsel told the court.
The trial magistrate granted Veronic Carayol bail of one million dalasi with two Gambian sureties.
The case was adjourned to 30 September 2014 for the hearing to continue.