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State may file new charges against NDEA officers

Jun 7, 2011, 11:55 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Five anti-narcotics officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDEA, who appeared at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul for allegedly beating one Cherno Alieu Suwareh alias ‘Che Boy’ leading to his death, are likely to answer to new charges, the court was told yesterday.

The accused persons are Eku Grant, Ebou Lowe, Abdoulie E. Jallow, Matarr Sey Jawo and Alieu Conteh.

At the resumption of their case yesterday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, M. Abdullahi, told the Special Criminal Court that the state was studying the case file and might likely file new charges against the accused.

“My lord we have received the case file and we are advising ourselves so that we can proceed with the matter by way of filing new indictments. On this grounds, we are asking for a short adjournment to enable us to proceed with the hearing of the case, DPP Abdullahi told the court.

However, lawyer Lamin S Camara representing Grant and Jallow reminded the court that the matter first came up on 26th May 2011, when the deputy DPP told the court that they needed two weeks to file an indictment.

"Now again, we are given another excuse for their failure to file a new indictment. We are willing to bend our backs for a short adjournment, but the prosecution should decide something on the case," LS Camara who appeared with Neneh Cham for the third accused person, told the court.

The trial judge Justice J.E. Ikpala subsequently adjourned the case till 13th June 2011.

The anti-narcotics officers were first arraigned at the lower court in Banjul charged with two counts, conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

The case was later transferred to the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, which has jurisdiction to try persons accused of committing capital offences.

Defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Cooker represented the 4th accused, Mattar Sey Jallow, while the 1st and 5th accused persons are yet to secure legal representation.