Saturday, December 3

Prosecution, defence argue over granting of bail

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In his argument, Prosecutor Jammeh stated that the accused person pleaded not guilty and the prosecution was vehemently against bail. He posited that the accused person was brought to Serekunda Police Station (prosecution department) and was later granted police bail the same day. “After granting the accused person bail, Serekunda Police Station became a no-go area for the accused person. Several calls were made to the accused person and the sureties. It is five months from the 4th November, 2020, and he was arrested on the 16th April, 2021,” he noted.

Counsel Dibba replied that he observed that the prosecutor should wait until an application for bail was brought before the court. Prosecutor Jammeh held that the defence counsel did not rely on any law. He stated that after they had a breakthrough, the first arrest they made was Mam Demba Jobe, who was in the police cells for three days and the accused person did not show up. He added that the second surety was also arrested. He said that the accused person then decided to show up.

“Looking at the period of which the accused person had been missing to the date that he showed up actually showed that he was a flight- risk and granting him any bail by the court, it will defeat the purpose of justice. This is going to be the end of the case,” he argued.

He added that they know that bail is at the discretion of the court and they also know that the offence of which the accused person is standing for is bailable, but they were of the strong belief that if the court granted bail, the accused person would abscond. He informed the court that there are other matters under investigation in connection with the accused person, and are yet to be completed. “Granting the accused person bail while the investigation is on high gear, will distort or frustrate the case of the prosecution, as the accused person is an influential person. With these adverse reasons, we urge the court to use its discretion judicially and judiciously to refuse the accused person bail,” he said.

He stated further that the accused person had a previous case which was mentioned before the same court before another magistrate and a bench warrant was issued for arrest and detention of the accused.  He finally urged the court to grant their application and detain the accused person pending the determination of the case.

The defence counsel urged the court to grant the accused person bail. He stated that the accused would not jump bail, since there are people who can stand as sureties for him. He adduced that the accused will not interfere with the investigation by the police. He also argued that the charge against the accused is bailable, and that he will not jump bail and will not also interfere with the prosecution witnesses. “Since the accused person is a responsible citizen with a good business and a family, it is almost impossible for him to jump bail,” he told the court.

Having gone through the arguments of the defence and the prosecution, the presiding magistrate ruled: “In the light of the totality of the foregoing, and in the light of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the application from the police station to the current application for bail, the application to grant the accused person bail is hereby refused. The accused shall remain under detention pending the hearing and determination of the case. The prosecution is urged to make sure that the case is accorded with speedy trial.”