3 Years Jotna members granted bail

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Abdou Njie, Ebrima Kitim Jarju, Sheriffo Sonko, Hagi Suwaneh, Fanta Mballow, Karim Touray, Yankuba Darboe and Muctarr Ceesay, executive members of 3 Years Jotna Movement, were on 24 February, 2020, granted bail by Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay of the High Court in Banjul. She cited Section 19 and 24 of the constitution and Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code to justify her ruling. She noted that granting bail is to avail the accused the opportunity to appear in court, adding that the accused should keep the peace.   

The accused persons, who were earlier charged on three counts of unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation and rioters demolishing structures, were granted bail in the sum of D200,000 with  two Gambian sureties each who should deposit their ID cards with the registrar of the court. They should also swear to an affidavit of means. The accused should deposit their travelling documents to the registrar of the court and should always appear in court pending the determination of the case.

This followed the announcement by the lead state counsel that there was an amended information, adding that the charge, which was rioters demolishing structures and which attracts life imprisonment under Section 76 of the Criminal Code, had been removed.   

The lead defence counsel, R. Mendy, informed the court that the amended information was not served on the accused persons.

The lead state counsel then indicated that the state was no longer opposing bail for the accused persons based on the amended information. He commended the court for its diligent ruling, noting that they wished to condemn in the strongest terms personal and derogatory attacks on the court. “This is uncalled for and illegal. People should respect the sanctity of the court,” he stated.

The lead defence counsel, R. Mendy, told the court that she shared the same sentiments. “All we know is the law, and justice will prevail. We disassociate ourselves from comments on the social media,” she added.

At this juncture, the lead state counsel applied to the court to adjourn the case for 30 days if the defence would indulge them.

R. Mendy informed the court that they were not objecting to the application by the state to adjourn the case.

The presiding judge then adjourned the matter to 25 March, 2020, for plea taking on the remaining counts.

Author: Dawda Faye