8 November 2017

Gambia: Will the Military Detainees Be Taken to Court or Released?

opinion

Question Of The Day

No government on earth is above the law. There are many military detainees who are not taken to court after 72 hours of detention. This is against section 19 Subsection 3 of the Constitution which states:

(3) Any person who is arrested or detained -

(a) for the purpose of bringing him or her before a court in execution of the order of a court; or

(b) upon reasonable suspicion of his or her having committed, or being about to commit, a criminal offence under the law of The Gambia, and who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours.

(4) Where any person is brought before a court in execution of the order of a court in any proceeding or upon suspicion of his or her having committed or being about to commit an offence, he or she shall not thereafter be further held in custody in connection with those proceedings or that offence except upon the order of a court.

(5) If any person arrested or detained as mentioned in subsection (3) (b) is not tried within a reasonable time, then without prejudice to any further proceedings which may be brought against him or her, he or she shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including, in particular, such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he or she appears at a later date for trial or proceedings preliminary to trial.

(6) Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation from that other person or from any other person or authority on whose behalf that other person was acting."

The Attorney General should inform the Government that it could be sued for millions for unlawful detention. Unlike the past, we would like to believe that this Government would not honour court decisions with disregard. Hence it is better to comply with the Constitution than to wait to be ordered by courts to do so.

Gambia

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