#Article (Archive)

In Sanyang Visaca Case, Court Strikes Out one Count

May 12, 2009, 6:02 AM | Article By: Soury Camara

Following a preliminary objection from defence counsel Lamin Jobarteh on section 110 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), that every charge shall contain the offence of the alleged crime committed together with the right particulars of the offence charged, the Banjul High Court recently struck out one of the Counts of the charge in the Visaca case.

This expunging of the count followed defence counsel bitter arguments that the charge did not contain the necessary particulars of statement worthy of double charges. That counts five and count six are the same wording and the same particulars of offence, and to the same circumstances of the charged preferred.

Replying on points of law the state prosecutor A.M. Yusuf and S.H. Bahoum argued that defects of a charge must be brought before the accused person take his or her plea.

In his ruling Justice Wowo of the High Court ruled that in the interest of justice, "I have to strike count five since it is the same with count sixth. Justice Wowo further ruled that contents of every specific offence to which an accused is `charged must give reasonable information to make the charge understandable.

Defence counsel further submitted that the same argument and principles goes for count nine and ten, count eleven and twelve and thirteen and fourteen.

At this juncture, the presiding judge adjourned the matter to 27th May 2009 for ruling.

It will be recalled that the alleged accused, Manjang Sanyang and Oumie Ceesay, are standing charges on fourteen counts of criminal offences ranging from economic crimes, to fraud and theft.