By Nicholas Bass
Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday granted the bail of alleged Bissau Guinean, Paulo Djabi and co while rejecting the transfer of the matter to the High Court.
Principal Magistrate Jabang overruled the submission of the defense lawyer Lamin S Camara over the transfer of the matter to the High Court while he stated that the court has the jurisdiction to hear the case of Anti-Money Laundering.
Magistrate Jabang agreed with the lead Prosecuting Officer Commissioner Ceesay stating that the Anti-Money Laundering Terrorist Financing Act of The Gambia, 2012 is a specific legislation and its provisions override that of the Criminal Procedure Code in the event of a conflict between the two, the CPC is a general legislation.
However, the Principal Magistrate rejected the application of the DLEAG prosecutions for the refusal of the bail of the accused and pointed out that the application for the accused persons to be remanded did not advance any reasons to warrant the court to refuse the bail of the accused persons.
He went on that the detention of the accused persons in the custody of DLEAG beyond seventy hours without arraigning the accused in the court was a violation of section 19 (3) (b) of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia. He went further to say that the DLEAG prosecutors gave no tangible reason to show course why the accused should not be granted bail.
‘’Therefore, from all of the foregoing, the 1st and 2nd accused Paulo Djabi and Nadine Pereira are granted bail for one million Dalasi each or with four Gambian sureties in the like sum, and the 3rd and 4th accused are granted bail at a sum of D300,000 each or two Gambia sureties each’’, Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang ruled.
It could be recalled that Paulo is charged with 15 counts of offence which include conspiracy, possession of drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, and money laundering of a huge amount of Gambian Dalasi, dollar, and euro. Nadine Perreira is standing trial for six counts of conspiracy, possession of drugs, money laundering, and dealing with prohibited drugs. Mamadu NetoDjabi and Secuna Jabi are facing one count of conspiracy.