7 December 2012

Gambia: In Alleged Prison Break Trial - Bail Application Denied

The Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by acting Principal Magistrate Baboucarr Secka on Thursday refused the bail application made by Muhammed Singhateh, Musa Jallow, Modou Mbenga and Momodou Musa Jallow, the 7th, 15th, 17th and 19th accused persons in the criminal trial involving the State against Sulayman Jammeh alias Daddy Boston and 18 others.

The presiding Magistrate made this decision in a ruling he delivered in the Thursday sittings on this case at the said court. After the delivery of the ruling, the police prosecutor First Class Faye called his fourth prosecution witness (PW4) who identified himself as Modou Secka, a remand inmate at the Remand Wing at Mile II Prisons.

According to him, on the 27th October 2012 he was at remand at around 1 to 2pm, the officers came and said there are people who wanted to escape and everybody should go back to the cell.

He added that after 2pm, they came and opened the door for the 1st accused (Daddy Boston) to go to the toilet but the officers did not allow him to go and they took Daddy Boston back to the cell by carrying him but he fell and was unconscious. He said that was the time when some of the inmates said Daddy Boston was death but the officers took him and poured water on him.

He disclosed that Lamin Saidykhan, Gibbi Sey, Muhammed Dico and Tapha, all accused persons followed the officers and there was a transfer of inmates from cell number 1 and 6 to cell number 7 and 11 as there is a fence between them (the cells).

PW4 further informed the court that during that transfer, he saw Abdou Saidy, the 11th accused person took a bench and started to break the padlocks. He said after that the senior prison officers came and returned everybody to their various cells but around 8pm they were all taken to the confinement wing in the prison.

During cross-examination by the defence counsel for the 1st and 5th accused persons, Lawyer E. Jah, the witness told the court that he is not aware of any assault on PW2 (Amadou Tamba), adding that Abdou Saidy opened cell number 11. He said that nobody tried to escape but they were upset because of the way the 1st accused person fell on the ground. At that juncture, the case was adjourned to December 11th 2012.

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