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State Withdraws False Publication Case Against Pap Saine

Apr 8, 2009, 7:58 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The State, which was represented by Inspector Fadera, on the 7th April 2009, withdrew the false publication case against Pap Saine before the Acting Principal Magistrate Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay of the Kanifing Magistrates' court. Pap Saine, the Managing Editor and Co-publisher of The Point Newspaper, was first brought before Magistrate Sagarr Jahateh of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court on the 4th February, 2009, charged with false publication under Section 181(A) of the criminal code cap.10 volume three, Laws of The Gambia 1990, as amended by the Criminal Code Amendment Act No.18 of 2004.

The accused's counsel, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, objected to the 2004 amendment Act arguing that it was not subsisting law, and urged the Court to strike out the case in which Inspector Fadera was the Prosecuting Officer. The case was adjourned following an application made by the prosecution to make its house in order.

When the case resumed, the Director of Public Prosecution, Richard Chenge, informed the Court that the State had substituted the charge sheet, but Magistrate Wadda-Ceesay, to whom the case was transferred observed that the substituted charge sheet did not bear a case number.

DPP Chenge then applied to the Court to adjourn the case so that the State could regularize the charge sheet. Pap Saine's Lawyer, Modou Musa Drammeh, on the resumption of the case applied to the court for transfer of the case to the Supreme Court because, according to him, the substituted charge was in excess and in contravention of the constitution of The Gambia.

The DPP, Richard Chenge, applied for an adjournment to reply to the application made by the Defense Counsel. On the 7th April 2009, Inspector Fadera announced that the prosecution was applying under section 68(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw the case on behalf of the state.

Magistrate Wadda-Ceesay granted the application and discharged the accused after Antouman Gaye, counsel for Pap Saine, said he was not objecting to the application. The point boss was represented at the trial by lawyers Antouman Gaye, Hawa Sisay Sabally and Momodou Musa Drammeh.