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High profile criminal cases to resume, as high court vacation ends

Oct 3, 2011, 1:10 PM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

A number of high-profile criminal and civil cases are expected to resume at the high court in Banjul, which begins its sittings today after a two-month vacation.

Among the ongoing trials is that of the former police chief, Ensa Badjie, who alongside two former senior military officers, is standing trial before Justice Emmanuel Amadi.

They were arraigned at the high court on charges including conspiracy to commit felony, obtaining money by false pretence, economic crime, obtaining goods by false pretence, official corruption, sedition, abuse of office, among others.

The trial of former information minister, Dr Amadou Scatred Janneh and three others, namely Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh, former President of the Gambia Press Union, Mathew K. Jallow and one Famara Demba, on charges of treason is also expected to resume.

However, Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Mathew K. Jallow and Famara Demba were all said to be out of the jurisdiction, at the initial hearing of the case.

Janneh, Sosseh, Jallow and Demba are, among others, accused of conspiring amongst themselves on 26th May 2011 at diverse places in The Gambia to print and distribute 100 T-shirts which carried a seditious statement, “Coalition for Change the Gambia: End Dictatorship Now.”

Dr. Janneh also faces a two-count charge of seditious acts alongside Michel C. Ucheh Thomas, Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow, all of whom were previously arraigned at the high court in Banjul, and denied the charges.

Another ongoing trial also slated to resume at the high court in Banjul is that of the former chief of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Ebrima Bun Sanneh, his deputy, Karamo Bojang, ex-director of operations at the agency, Seedy Bojang, ex-accountant and Marie Sanneh.

They are standing trial on a 30-count charge including conspiracy to commit felony, stealing by person in public service, aiding and abetting, unlawful possession of fire arm, unlawful possession of live ammunitions, concealment and destroying of evidence, official corruption, to abuse of office and committing economic crimes, obtaining money by false pretence, to making document without authority and forgery.

The case involving Hassan Touray, chief technology officer of Pristine Consulting Company, Abdourahman Touray, the company’s chief executive officer and the company itself is also expected to continue.

They were, among others, accused of conspiring to defraud the public by printing and selling Gambian biometric ID cards and driving licence, residential permits, all of which contained biometric chips, between 20 April 2009 and March of 2011.

An earlier attempt for an out of court settlement between the state and Pristine Consulting Company was reported to have failed.