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Trial of four Gambians and two Guineans fails to proceed

Aug 18, 2014, 10:48 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The trial involving Sheikh Dawda York, Ebrima Kebbeh, Demba Sowe, Kemo Fatty - all Gambians, and Oumie Saffiatou Jallow and Alpha Kanteh - Guineans, failed to proceed on 12 August 2014, before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, because the presiding magistrate was going to attend a meeting.

The accused were earlier charged with conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and cheating, allegations they denied.

When the case was mentioned, Lawyer Gomez told the court he was representing the second accused while Moses Richards made his representation for the 3rd and 4th accused and held brief for lawyer Marong for the 5th accused.

Lawyer Batchilly said he was representing the 1st accused.

Sergeant 1781 Kinteh stood up and told the court it was the first prosecution witness who was in the box and had travelled, and that his evidence was not complete.

He said without wasting the court’s time, he would apply for the court to interpose the evidence of PW1 and call the second prosecution witness to testify until such a time when PW1 would be available to continue his testimony.

Lawyer Gomez rose and told the court he seldom had confrontation with prosecutors.

However, he said, there was a limit.

He said the liberty of the accused was at stake, adding that they were deemed innocent until the contrary was proved, and that this was stated in the constitution.

“If PW1 who had already commenced giving evidence and has left the jurisdiction to further other interests of his, such interests should not jeopardise the rights of the accused which have been protected by the constitution,” he told the court.

He posited that it was not the prosecutor’s fault that PW1 was not present, adding that PW1 is the complainant and therefore should appear in court.

He said PW1 could not be seen leaving the jurisdiction without the court’s permission.

He urged the court to expunge the evidence given by PW1 and allow the case to proceed with the urgency it deserves according to law.

Moses Richards and lawyer Batchilly associated themselves with the submission made by lawyer Gomez.

Magistrate Tabally then ruled that the evidence of PW1 should be expunged, and he accordingly expunged it and adjourned the case till 26 August 2014, for PW2 to testify.

In another development, the sister case involving Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Kemo Fatty, Sheikh Dawda York, Musa Bah (at large), Mansa Bah, Cherno Amidou Savage, Ousman Sowe, Abdou Camara (at large) and Alpha Kanteh could not also proceed on 12 August 2014, before Magistrate Tabally.

The accused were charged with conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence. They denied any wrongdoing.

When the case was mentioned, Lawyer Batchilly rose and told the court that he was representing the first accused while Lawyer Gomez represented the second accused person.

The fourth, sixth and eighth accused persons were represented by lawyer Tambedou and Moses Richards represented the seventh accused.

The prosecuting officer, Chief Inspector Touray, applied for an adjournment because Cherno Amidou Savage was arrested by the police and was helping them in their investigation regarding the case.

He said that hopefully on the next adjourned date, they would make some amendments.

Lawyer Tambedou said he had no objection to the application made by the prosecutor for an adjournment.

He said the accused had been granted bail and since then, they were cooperating and should not be detained pending investigations.

Lawyer Gomez did not object to the application made by the prosecutor.

He urged the court to take consideration that people are in the rainy season and his client is a head of a big family and a farmer, and that he used to come all the way from his village.

“Instead of one week adjournment sought by the prosecutor, I suggest the case be adjourned for two weeks so that my client will have sufficient time to work on his farm,” he told the court.

Lawyer Batchilly and Richards associated themselves with the submission made by the other defence counsels.

The case was adjourned till 26 August 2014.

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