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State withdraws case, accused rearrested

Jan 26, 2015, 10:34 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

State counsel M. Jobe on 22 January 2015 applied before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court to withdraw the case involving Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Sheikh Dawda York, Ebrima Kebbeh, Demba Sowe, Kemo Fatty and Alpha Kanteh, who were charged with conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and cheating.

This followed an earlier application made by the state counsel to transfer the case to the High Court, after an additional charge of economic crime was added to the charge sheet.

His application was opposed by the defence counsel.

Magistrate Tabally then ruled in favour of the defence and struck out the economic crime charge; he said the court would proceed with the other charges.

But on 22 January 2015, the defence counsel again opposed the application made by the state counsel to discharge the accused persons, while he withdrew the case.

Defence lawyer Tambedou said it was the discretion of the court to discharge the accused.

He stated that they were not opposing the application made by the state counsel to withdraw the case, but would apply for the accused persons to be acquitted.

Defence counsel Batchilly added that the criminal procedure code enjoins the court to use its discretion to acquit the accused persons.

He argued that the accused persons had not been called to make their defence.

He urged the court to not only discharge the accused, but to acquit them as well.

Defence lawyer Marong associated himself with the submission made by his colleagues; and urged the court to acquit the accused.

In his ruling, Magistrate Tabally told the court that evidence was not led before the court.

He then granted the application made by the state counsel to withdraw the case, and to discharge the accused persons.

The accused persons were immediately rearrested, when they walked out of the courtroom.