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Ousman Badjie denies charges, asks court to review bail conditions

Dec 16, 2014, 12:54 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Former Works and Transport Minister Ousman Badjie yesterday denied any wrongdoing before Justice Abi of the Banjul High Court.

He is facing a five-count charge including economic crimes and neglecting official duty, charges he denied.

When the case was called, the DPP told the court that he filed the indictment on 10 December 2014.

Defence counsel LS Camara then told the court that he has a petition before the court to review the bail conditions set for the accused person.

It would be recalled that the court in a ruling dated 10 December 2014 granted the applicant bail, but the bail bond was D10 million.

An affidavit in support of the defence motion for a review of the bail conditions stated that the applicant could not meet the onerous terms of bail granted by the court, and was returned to the remand wing of the State Central Prisons Mile 2.

It stated that the sum for which the applicant is on trial is D1.134 million, whereas bail was granted in the sum of D10 million.

The affidavit further stated that the applicant’s families are willing, but find it very difficult to meet the said conditions imposed by the court.

It stated that the applicant has people ready and willing to act as surety for him in the event that the court grants the applicant less stringent terms.

Unless the court orders the applicant’s release, he will continue to languish in detention until the end of the trial, and it is in the interest of justice that the application be granted, the affidavit added.

The DPP in response said the issue of bail is a matter between the court and the applicant, and the state is not opposing bail.

Defense counsel LS Camara yesterday also made an application to the court for the state to provide the exhibits to enable them prepare their defence.

The DPP promised to provide the defence with the exhibits before the next court sitting.

The case was then adjourned to 14 January 2015.

The particulars of offence stated that Ousman Badjie between 14 to 30 June 2014, at the Gambian Embassy in Paris and diverse places in The Gambia, as the Gambia’s head of mission in France, owing to his willful negligence, caused economic loss to the government of the Gambia to tune of 27,500 Euros being monies paid by Societe Generale Agence Central Provlvead Haussmann Paris 75009 without authorization to Faisal Bojang, the former Gambian financial attaché to the Gambia Embassy in Paris, France.

Count two stated that owing to his negligence, this caused economic loss to the government of the Gambia to tune of 34,333,00 Euros being the revenue collected but not deposited and other shortages caused by Faisal Bojang.

In count three, he was alleged to have willfully neglected to perform his duty to follow up with the Societe Generale Agence Centrale Provlvead Haussmann Paris 750099 to recover the sum of 27, 500 Euros being the monies paid without authorization to Faisal Bojang.

In count four, Badjie was accused of willfully neglecting to perform his duty, consequent upon which Faisal Bojang caused shortages in the sum of 34,333 Euros in the Embassy account.

Count five alleged that Badjie willfully neglected to perform his duty to pursue the police declaration that the signature of the Deputy Head of Mission was forged, and thereby committed an offence.

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