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Musa Yalle Batchilly’s absence delays trial

Jul 17, 2020, 11:06 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The case involving Musa Yalle Batchilly, an executive member of the Gambia Action Party (GAP), could not proceed yesterday before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court because of his absence.

He is charged with obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 288 of the Criminal Code and fraud on sale of property , contrary to Section 293 (c ) of the Criminal Code.

When the case was called, Prosecutor Sanneh told the court that he was representing the Inspector General of Police along with Prosecutor Manga, while counsel Abubacarr Fofana, announced his representation for the accused.

The defence counsel informed the court that the accused had written to the court that he was sick and this was why he was not present in court.

But this did not go down well with Prosecutor Manga. He said that they were in court to proceed with the case, and that they had a witness who resides out of The Gambia. He added that the witness was in court to testify.

He further adduced that the matter has been with the police for a long time, and the excuse of the accused was that he was always sick which is his modus operandi. “He would say that he is not well and this would not serve the interest of justice,” he told the court. He urged the court to take judicial notice of it and to give a short adjournment.

The presiding magistrate then stated that the court had received a letter from the accused that he was not well, and said this would be put into consideration. She then granted a short adjournment and warned that the accused should be in court on the 27th July, 2020, for the continuation of the case.

It could be recalled that the accused, Musa Yalle Batchilly, was on the 7th July, 2020, paraded before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for allegedly obtaining money by false pretence.

The bill of indictment presented by Prosecutor Manga indicated that sometime in the year 2019, at Manjai Kunda and diverse places within the jurisdiction of the court in the Republic of The Gambia, with intent to defraud and by false pretence, he induced one Fatoumata Baye Saine to deliver to him the sum of 6,000,000 CFA, equivalent to D504,000 under the pretext that he legally owns a compound measuring 15m X 25m, situate at Batokunku and he offered for sale, which pretext was false. He also faced another count of fraud on sale of property.

According to the charge sheet on this count, with intent to defraud and by false pretence, he induced Fatoumata Baye Saine to deliver to him the sum of 6,000,000 CFA, equivalent to D504,000 under the pretext that he legally owns a compound measuring 15m X 25m, situate at Batokunku and concealed the fact that the compound he purported to sell does not belong to him.

He denied any wrongdoing.

He was subsequently granted bail in the um of D500,000 with a Gambian surety who should deposit his or her title deed with the registrar of the court. He or she should also swear to an affidavit of means.

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