18 March 2017

Gambia: 'No Case' Submission Fails

The criminal trial involving Mr Borry J. Saidy, the former Acting Manager of Air Traffic Services at the Banjul International Airport was slated for ruling on the 'no case submission' made by the defense counsel Bory S. Touray. The trial Magistrate Omar Cham of Brikama Magistrates Court ruled that the court cannot go against its previous ruling. The accused is alleged to have written to the Office of the President claiming unfair treatment which information he knew or believed to be false and had thereby committed an offence, charges he denied.

The defence counsel filed a submission on no case submission but the submission was denied for the second time. Yesterday the matter was slated for the continuation of trial but failed due to the absence of the defense counsel.

Readers could recall that Counsel Touray applied for a 'no case submission' because the matter at hand is not a criminal matter because in criminal proceedings, he said the law takes its course notwithstanding the change of government and he further submitted that the petition which generated this criminal action was addressed to Yahya Jammeh and that there is a constitutional overthrow of his government. He further argued that the accused person exercised his freedom by virtue of Section 25 (f) which gives one the right to petition the executive, there is no law in the country which caters for citizens to petition the executive except the constitution and that there is nowhere under section 25 where this right has been derogated.

The prosecution argued that he is charged with 'giving false information to a civil servant' contrary to Section 114 of the Criminal Code of The Gambia and the matter started a year after the Amendment Act was enacted. Inspector Gibba told the court that its decision is a matter of contest because the court ruled in the year 2014 against the defence application of 'no case submission' and the court has no jurisdiction to rule against its previous ruling. In addition, he said Counsel Touray relied on Section 166 of the Constitution but he reminded the Court its previous ruling that the office of the President, Vice President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Secretary of state or a member of the National Assembly are all public offices and referred the court to the case of The State vs Abdoulie Conteh Gambia Law Report 2002 and 2008.


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