16 January 2013

Gambia: Ruling Set in Ex-Minister Mambury Njie Case

Justice M Abdoullah of the Banjul High Court after listening to the prosecution and defense counsel yesterday, adjourned the bail application filed by Mambury Njie, former minister, for ruling.

This followed the argument made by the defence counsel, Lamin Camara, and the response by the Director of Public Prosecutions, S.H Barkun, during Tuesday's hearing of the case.

The case was then adjourned to 21 January 2013, for ruling.

In his submission, the DPP stated that the law empowered the magistrate to remand the applicant, and this was in compliance with the constitution.

The arrest and the detention of the applicant was justifiable, DPP submitted, adding that the issue of releasing the applicant from custody, either conditionally or unconditionally, rests entirely on the shoulders of the court.

He added that the burden of assisting the court to exercise its discretion rests on the shoulders of the applicant.

DPP further stated that considering the nature of the charge, the character of the accused person, the likelihood of repeating the offence, the severity of the punishment, and tampering with the witnesses, the nature and the circumstance of the case, if the applicant was released on bail, he would tamper with both the investigation and witnesses.

It would be recalled that Mambury Njie, was arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court and charged with economic crime.

However, he was remanded in custody and the case was transferred to the High Court which has jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The particulars of offence read at the lower court stated that Mambury Njie, between 2006 and 2010 in Banjul and diverse places in the Gambia, intentionally and recklessly did an act detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.

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