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State takes over GRA officials case

Jun 26, 2012, 12:41 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The state has taken over the case involving former Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) Bakary Sanyang and 13 others, prosecutors at the AG’s Chambers told the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Alagbe Ade Taiwo yesterday.

The other accused persons are Musukebba Corr, former Commissioner of Domestic tax at GRA, Louis Gillen, senior officer at GRA, Mamour Joof of GRA, Muhammed Krubally, Serign Bamba Saho, Selia Cole, Neneh Jallow, Remeh Jagane, E.E Chime, Rene Renner, Ebrima Kebbeh, Momodu Sanneh, and Fotu Sonko.

They are charged with 14 counts of negligence of official duty, perjury, making false and misleading statement, defraud of the government tax revenue, economic crimes and uttering false documents.

When the case was called, state counsel M.N. Jobe told the court that the state had taken over the case involving GRA officials from the police.

However, the case file was not ready, and the state was applying for a month’s adjournment to enable the state prepare.

In response to the state counsel’s application for an adjournment, defence counsel Bittaye told the court he had already filed a stay of proceedings before the High Court in Banjul in respect of the 6th and 7th accused persons.

Counsel Bittaye further told the court that this was an advanced notice for the lower court and the defence had filed the copy to the lower court, but the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the application for a stay of proceedings.

Lawyer Awa Sisay-Sabally also told the court that her client was arrested since on 6 June 2012, and was rushed to the court on 7 June 2012, adding that since then she had been in custody without bail.

She pointed out that this was the third time they have been coming to court without the case proceeding, pointing out that all the accused persons should be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.

Counsel further argued that it would not be fair for the accused persons to be continuously detained in custody without the case proceeding.

She added that the defence counsel had filed bail applications on behalf of the accused persons, which were turned down, and the defence counsel needed to file fresh bail applications.

Lawyer Badou S.M. Conteh, another defence counsel, also told the court that since the case file had been sent to the AG’s Chambers for advice, the state should tell the court on which day they would be ready to proceed.

He added that their families and loved ones were disturbed by their continuous detention without the case proceeding.

The case was then adjourned till 23 July 2012, for hearing.