Apr 22, 2008, 6:47 AM
Ebrima Sidebeh, Adama Krubally and Mamadi Kuyateh, all Malian nationals, and Cherno Omar Sowe, a Guinean, were on 4th August, 2009, arraigned before Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court, on nine counts of theft, conspiracy and criminal trespass.
Count one stated that the accused persons around January and July, 2009, at Kanifing conspired with others who are still at large to steal from a car.
Count two indicated that in May 2009, at NAWEC Headquarters the accused persons force fully opened the car of one Daniel Mendy to commit an offence.
Count three revealed that the accused persons in May, at the same place within the jurisdiction of Kanifing Magistrates' Court stole some money from Daniel Mendy's vehicle.
According to count four, the accused persons in July, 2009, at the same place stole D7, 000 from a vehicle belonging to one Kawsu Bojang, and thereby committed an offence.
According to count six, "the accused persons in July, 2009, at the same place forcefully opened the car of one Rodry Othman Roberts to commit an offence".
Count seven stated that the accused persons in July, 2009, at the same place stole a bag containing a digital camera, a passport, a bank book and reading glasses, being property of one Rodry Othman Roberts, and thereby committed an offence.
According to count eight, the accused persons in July, 2009, at the same place forcefully opened the vehicle of one Muhamed Tunkara, with intent to commit an offence.
Count nine stated that the accused persons in May, 2009, at the same place stole the sum of D18, 000, being property of Muhammed Tunkara, by removing the said money from his car and thereby committed an offence.
They all pleaded not guilty.
Lawyer Badou Conteh, who represented the fourth accused person, applied to the court to grant his client bail. He said the offences with which his client was charged are bailable.
He added that it is very clear in the Constitution of The Gambia 1997, that Section 17 is a provision for fundamental rights and freedom of an accused person to be granted bail.
He cited Sections 19, 24(3C) of the Constitution to back-up his argument.
He told the court that the accused person was under custody for two weeks and did not have access to a Lawyer, and then referred the court to Section 99 of the CPC.
He urged the court to consider his application and grant his client bail.
He said his client is a family man who has been resident in The Gambia for 15 years. And then he said it was the first time he has been brought to court.
The State Counsel, A.M. Yusuf, then rose and objected to the application made by the Defence Counsel to grant his client bail.
He argued that there are certain factors that the court is required to take into consideration before exercising its discretion to grant a bail to an accused, that's the severity of the offences charged and the prevalent occurrence made of the offence.
He stated that all these have made the court to judiciously exercise its discretion.
Magistrate Mbacke, in his ruling, said the court had heard carefully the application made by the Defence Counsel and the objection raised by the State Counsel. He stated that in this regard, the court had considered the other accused persons to be granted bail.
He ruled that the court had upheld the objection by the State Counsel not to grant the accused persons bail on the grounds that they are foreign nationals, and noted that they are likely to jump bail.
Secondly, he said there is likelihood that they would commit a similar offence, if granted bail.
He finally remanded them in custody.