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High Court to rule on Teranga FM manager bail application, again

Sep 15, 2015, 10:10 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The Banjul High Court will again rule on the bail application of Teranga FM MD Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, on Wednesday, 16 September 2015.

The case was adjourned yesterday for ruling, after the defence counsel concluded her reply on points of law before Justice Mohammed Dan Azumi Balarabe of the Banjul High Court.

When the case was called, the trial judge said during the reply on points of law by defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Coker, she emphasized the need for protection of the fundamental and constitutional rights of her client, which she said needed to be considered and protected by the court.

She also urged the court to look into the previous rulings on bail in the other decided cases, and exercise his ruling in favour of her client.

She added that the DPP had failed to discharge the burden of proof as to why bail should not be granted to the applicant, citing relevant law authorities to back up her submission.

“It is my submission that in respect to advocacy, counsel can make reference to facts which are not considered by the court or brought to the attention of the court and that will not cause injury to the previous ruling on the bail of the applicant,” she added.

She further challenged the DPP’s submission that her application was more of an appeal and was misconceived, and appeal to the court to consider her application.

However, the DPP objected saying it is more like a response to argument or an affidavit, adding that a reply on points of law is like verification where there was an examination before.

He said there was nothing to reply on points of law, only where there is a new issue introduced.

He said the defence counsel should have made such when she was doing her application.

But counsel replied that in her submission, during the case of reply to the applicant’s submission, if the respondent refers to laws that are misunderstood, it is the duty of the applicant to draw the attention of the court to the provisions, leaving the court with the ultimate final say.

The trial judge said he had listened to both sides and upheld the learned DPP’s objection.

Continuing her reply after the ruling, counsel Gaye-Coker said regarding the seriousness of the charge, she was submitting that the seriousness of the charge could be taken into account on whether or not to grant bail to the accused.

She said but seriousness alone could not be a fact in considering whether or not to grant the accused bail.

She said DPP stated that the punishment for offences charged before the court could be as serious as life imprisonment, and she is submitting that the submission by the DPP is farfetched.

“Having regards to all the argument canvass before this court, I urged the court to grant the applicant bail, on such terms and conditions the court deems fit to ensure the applicant’s continuous appearance in court based on the change in circumstances that I have already submitted.”

The trial was then adjourned to Wednesday at 2pm for ruling on the bail application.

DPP then said while the case was adjourned for ruling, the prosecution would like to proceed with their case by calling their witness to testify as they have their witnesses in court.

Defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Coker did not object to DPP’s application, instead she said she was in doubt as to which information before the court is her client being tried on.

She was served with the amended information, but the accused did not take his plea. That being the case, she was applying for the court to strike out the amended information since the DPP was not acting on it.

She said it was a strange procedure to have both charges before the court.

DPP then applied for the charge to be amended. DPP said they had filed an amended charge dated 25 August 2015, and urged the court to allow the amendment.

The accused was then asked to take his plea on the amended charges, and he again pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge ranging from six counts of sedition to one count of publishing false news.