High Court staff to be arrested

Feb 16, 2022, 11:56 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on the 3rd February, 2022, ordered that Bakary Sarr, Assistant Bailiff at the High Court in Banjul, be arrested and his surety by the police to show cause why his bail should not be revoked. She further ordered that if they are arrested on a non working day, they should be granted police bail and be brought on a working day before the court.

This followed an application made by Commissioner A. Sanneh, the prosecuting officer, for the accused and his surety to be issued with a bench warrant to be arrested.  He argued that the accused had failed to appear in court on many occasions without any reason. He stated that he did it deliberately. He noted that the accused should open his defence but failed to appear in court. The presiding magistrate added her voice that the accused did not inform the court why he was not in attendance. 

DSP Jawara, prosecuting the case on the 2nd November, 2021, informed the court that the prosecution had closed their case. This followed the end of the testimony of the third prosecution witness. 

Bakary Sarr, the High Court staff, was charged with obtaining money by false pretence and fraud.

Ismaila Tamba, the third prosecution witness, testified that he is First Class Constable and posted at the Serious Crime Headquarters. He stated that he recognised the accused when he was brought to his office.

He noted that while he was on duty with his colleagues, a complaint was lodged and a case file was put before him. He posited that he was assigned by his supervisors on the 16th July, 2020. He told the court that after engaging the accused in the language he speaks best, which is Mandinka, he cautioned him per the claim at the time.

He revealed that he obtained cautionary and voluntary statements from the accused. He narrated that he invited an independent witness and read the cautionary wordings to the accused before his voluntary statement. “The words of the accused were translated into English. They were later translated into Mandinka and one Abdou Mboge was present as an independent witness to serve for both of us. After obtaining the statement of the accused, he signed and I also signed, as well as the independent witness. The accused was then charged,” he explained.

At this juncture, he was asked whether he would be able to recognise the cautionary statement, and he answered in the positive. It was shown to him and he confirmed that it was the said document. He further noted that he recognised it through his signature.

The prosecutor applied to tender it. It was then shown to the accused but said he had no objection to the tendering of the document. It was finally admitted by the court as an exhibit.

The accused was asked whether he had questions for the witness. He said he had only one question to ask the witness.

“I put it to you that there was no independent witness,” he challenged.

“There was an independent witness,” responded the witness.

The magistrate then informed the court that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the accused and asked him to enter his defence on the adjourned date by virtue of Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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