Monday, December 4

Paulo Djabi & associates case proceeds to High Court

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The court requested that the state counsel organise themselves following the ex-parte application and interim injunction on the case involving Paulo Djabi, Nadine Pereira, Mamadu Neto Djabi and Secuna Jabi at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

Arguing on the applications, Defence Counsel Tambedou said the state had “the resources and ample time” to prepare themselves to deal with the case.

He added that the application was filed on 15 September 2023 and they (the defence counsels) were ready to proceed with the case.

It would be recalled that Magistrate Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court issued an order in response to an Ex-parte motion filed by Paulo Djabi’s legal team. The motion requested the court to order the immediate release of Paulo Djabi and his associates, as they had been re-arrested by the DLEAG despite the fact that the court had previously granted them bail.

The accused persons were charged with two counts of conspiracy, nine counts of money laundering, two counts of possession of prohibited drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, and dealing in controlled drugs.

In his ruling on 21 September 2023, the then presiding principal Magistrate Jabang of the Kanifing Court asserted that Section 2 of the Anti-money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing Act of The Gambia, 2012 gave the meaning of a court to mean the High Court.

He said by that it meant anywhere in the said act where the court is mentioned, the court in question shall be the High Court, adding that where the provision of the act on any subject matter is silent as to court, then any court with the requisite “jurisdictional wings can be flown with”.

“By its clear and literal meaning of Section 22, the court and the High Court can all assume jurisdiction to try its offence,” he stated, adding that the application for forfeiture could be made at the relevant court after conviction.

The matter was adjourned until 17 October 2023 for hearing of the applications.