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High Court reduces French National's sentence

Oct 5, 2010, 12:00 PM | Article By: M.K. Marenah & Malamin Conteh

Alfredo Picco, a French national who was recently convicted and sentenced to a fine of D5 million in default to serve 15 years in prison with hard labour by the lower court in Banjul, yesterday had his sentence reduced to a fine of one million dalasi in default 5 years in prison by the high court in Banjul.

Presiding Justice Emmanuel Amadi took the decision in a judgment he delivered to that effect, following an appeal filed by the appellant counsel, Moses Richard, against the lower court’s decision.

Justice Amadi while delivering the judgment concord with the lower court's decision that all forms of drug peddling and trafficking should be halted, but added that the 15-year jail term imposed on the accused person was harsh and excessive.

"I hereby reduce the sentence from 15 years to five years imprisonment or one million dalasis fine," Justice Amadi declared.

Picco was sentenced by the narcotics court at the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Magistrate Hililary U. Abeke following his own plea of guilt to the offence of being in possession of prohibited drugs.

Prosecutors who indicted Picco claimed that on 1st July 2010, at a checkpoint in Brufut Ghana Town, Alfredo Picco was found in possession of 2grams and 840mg of cannabis stativa, a prohibited drug.

The appellant counsel, Moses Richard, was present in court and this reporter could see the mood of happiness on counsel’s face. SH Barkun appeared for the state at yesterday’s court sitting.