Jun 13, 2008, 7:17 AM
Special Criminal Court in Banjul presided over by Justice O. Ottaba yesterday
granted bail to 7 out of 10 accused persons, in the GNPC case, of over US$1
They are Edrissa Mass Jobe, Cherno Marena, Momodou Taal, Fafa Sanyang, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Seedy Kanyi and Louie Moses Mendy.
DPP S.H. Barkun appeared for the state alongside deputy DPP M.B. Abubacarr, while I.D. Drammeh led the defence team representing Edrissa Mass Jobe.
DPP S.H. Barkun then informed the court that they were not opposing bail on such terms and conditions that would secure the applicants’ presence in court, in case charges were brought against them.
Counsel I.D. Drammeh said with the concession of the state she urged the court to grant all the prayers.
She asked the court to make the bail reasonable and not exceeding D500,000, if it is to be granted.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Ottaba said he had listened to the submission made by counsel.
He said in view of the fact that the state did not oppose bail, he would exercise his discretion and granted the applicant, Edrissa Mass Jobe, bail of US$1.2 million with two Gambian sureties, who should have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and have deposed to an affidavit of means.
The sureties and the applicant should sign a bond to ensure the presence of the applicant in court to answer, to any charge brought against him.
The applicant was also ordered to deposit his international passport with the registrar of the high court.
Senior counsel A.N.D. Bensouda and H.S. Sabally represented Cherno Marena.
In moving the bail application, H.S. Sabally said the application was for bail and was brought pursuant to section 19 sub 5, 24 (3) and 37 of the constitution and also section 99 of the CPC.
The application was supported by a 22-paragraph affidavit and attached to it was marked exhibit CM1 and CM2, which were the charges from Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
She added that there was also an additional affidavit, which was an 8-paragraph and they are relying on all the paragraphs.
Counsel Sabally said there was no affidavit in opposition, and she believed that all the arguments in the affidavits were deemed admitted by the state.
“I want to draw your lordship’s attention to paragraph 14, 15 and 22 of the affidavit in support, and I want your lordship to put this into account when exercising your discretion in granting bail. It is my submission that the affidavits have satisfied all the conditions that your lordship will be called upon to consider in granting bail.”
She then urged the court not to make the bail condition onerous.
The judge then granted Cherno Marena bail of US$1.6 million with two Gambian sureties.
Counsel I.D. Drammeh representing Momodou Taal informed the court that the charge against his client had no monetary amount.
The trial judge then granted him bail of D250,000 with one Gambian surety.
L.S. Camara representing Fafa Sanyang said the application was to release the applicant on bail.
He said the application was supported by a 25-paragraph document and he referred the court to paragraph 5, which stated that the applicant was only charged with conspiracy and neglect of official duty, which are all misdemeanours, and enjoined the court to take into consideration section 99 sub-section 2 of the CPC.
The trial judge granted him bail of D250,000 with one Gambian surety.
Counsel I.D. Drammeh, who held brief for counsel L. Farage for Muntaga Momodou Sallah, made a similar bail application.
The trial judge granted him bail of US$1.3 million with two Gambian sureties.
Counsel L.S. Camara representing Seedy Kanyi and Louie Moses Mendy said both applicants are seeking to be released on bail.
He said the application was supported by 28 and 25 paragraphs respectively, and attached to both affidavits are the charges.
He urged the court to grant them bail.
Seedy Kanyi was granted bail of US$1.3 million with two Gambian sureties, and Louie Moses Mendy was granted bail of US$1.6 million with two Gambian sureties.