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High Court to decide on bail of ex-Agric officials today

Apr 1, 2015, 4:52 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The Banjul High Court presided over by Justice Abi had adjourned ruling on the bail application for the three ministry of Agriculture officials, accused of economic crimes, abuse of office and negligence, for today.

The three ex-Agric officials are Lamin Fatajo, the ex-programme coordinator of Rural Finance Project, Lamin Mass, ex-administrative manager of the Rural Finance Project, and Ada Gaye, ex-permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture in Banjul.

DPP SH Barkhum represented the state; BS Touray and SM Tambadou represented the applicants.

When the case was called, BS Touray, the defence counsel for the 1st and 2nd applicants, told the court they had a pending bail application before it.

DPP S.H. Barkhum told the court he was served with the bail application for all the accused persons, and was not objecting to the application.

In moving the motion, B.S. Touray said they filed a motion dated 31 March 2015, for the 1st and 2nd applicants who are asking for an order of bail.

At that juncture, the trial judge said he was dismissing the application as he made it clear he was not going to hear an application for bail for two applicants together.

Counsel B.S. Touray applied to amend the motion by striking out the name of the 2nd accused person, and to make an oral application on behalf of the 2nd accused person.

He said the amendment of the motion did not in any way affect the content of the affidavit.

DPP S.H. Barkhum did not object to the amendment.

The trial judge, justice Abi, then struck out the name of the 2nd applicant from the motion.

Even though the court gave an order for a formal bail application to be filed by the applicants, B.S. Touray said he was in need of the court’s indulgence to allow him make an oral bail application on behalf of the 2nd accused person, citing high court practice.

Defence counsel SM Tambadou also backed Counsel B.S. Touray’s application to make an oral bail application for his client.

The trial judge, Justice Abi, then allowed counsel to go ahead with his application for the 2nd applicant.

Counsel B.S. Touray said granting of bail helps the accused prepare his defence against the offences he was charged with.

In moving his motion, Counsel S.M. Tambadou told the court they filed a motion dated 30 March 2015.

He drew the attention of the court to paragraph 2 of the affidavit, which stated that the 3rd accused person was charged with only 1 count of negligence, which is a misdemeanour, and enjoined the court to put that into consideration when granting the applicant bail.

The trial judge said the accused persons could go home based on the conditions he gave them earlier.

He then adjourned the case until today for ruling.