Gambia: Court Refuses Police Application to Issue Arrest Warrant to a Sick Man

A trial magistrate in Kanifing on Monday refused the police application to issue a bench warrant for the arrest to a sick man.

Defense Lawyer Fatou Sowe, who appeared for Lawyer Kebba Sanyang said the accused person - Pa Modou Kah communicated to her that he was involved in a car accident and he has a fracture. She told the court that Mr. Kah couldn't come to court because he was advised (medically) to stay at one place. She informed the court that Kah is in North Bank nursing his fractured leg (knee). Lawyer Jawo undertook to furnish the court with his medical report on the next adjourned date.

In his objection, Superintendent A. Manga, the police prosecutor said this is a 'show of no respect to the court'. He contended that Mr. Kah has been absent repeatedly for 3 times without providing the court with his medical report. He beseeched the court to refuse the defence counsel's application for an adjournment. Manga further applied for the court to issue a bench warrant of arrest against Mr. Kah, adding that if he is arrested, the State will take good care of him. Prosecutor Manga said all the adjournments in the case were at the instance of the defence and therefore, the court should not allow another adjournment.

"We want the court to review and revoke the bail of the accused person and issue a bench warrant for his arrest," he said.

Magistrate Sainey Joof refused the application for bench warrant, but gave Mr. Kah the last (final) chance to come to court or produce his medical report. Magistrate Joof said the accused person has been repeatedly absent with the excuse that he was involved in a car accident which got him injured. He said there is no certainty whether he was involved in an accident or not. Nonetheless, Magistrate Joof said he will avoid issuing a bench warrant to a person said to be sick. He stressed that this is for the final time as he enjoined the defence to furnish the court with his medical report.

The matter was adjourned to the 27th January 2020.

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